Possible Exploding iPhone 7 Could Threaten Mass Recall

Tim Cook iPhone 7 (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)
Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press

According to a newly released report, it appears that a newly shipped Apple iPhone 7 exploded in a fashion that looks similar to the explosion that led to the recall of all Samsung Galaxy Note 7S.

The authoritative BGR.com blog reported that an Apple iPhone 7 smartphone exploded and completely disintegrated, but the user was unhurt.

It is unclear at this time if the chemical mixture of the new higher storage cells in the iPhone 7 battery is suffering from the same inefficient combination of chemicals as the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phablet that has been subject to a worldwide recall.

Apple Inc. stock (NASDAQ: AAPL) traded down about 1.4 percent in early morning trading, and dragged the NASDAQ Index down about 0.5 percent.

No information has been made available by any Apple Inc. corporate spokesperson, so it is uncertain if the iPhone 7 that exploded was still in its shipping box or was plugged in for a charging cycle.

The BGR posted user comments seem to indicate that the iPhone 7 device exploded in its shipping box. That could trigger an automatic recall for all iPhone 7 devices, if the explosion is confirmed.

Public transportation systems around the world, including the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority, have taken a hard line on the recalled Samsung Galaxy Note 7 by telling passengers on airplanes, trains, subways and buses to not to use the smartphones due to the risk of dangerous fires.

Because Samsung caught the issue quickly, it has successfully recalled about 65 percent, or 1 million units, of the Galaxy Note 7 phablets shipped in late August and early September.

But the scale of a potential iPhone 7 recall could be epic. According to a report in Digitimes, “sources from Taiwan-based touch panel makers” say that Apple has just boosted “part and component orders for iPhone 7 devices” by about 20 to 30 percent above what the company had originally planned.

Digitimes’ sources estimate that iPhone 7 shipments from the iPhone maker’s contract manufacturing partners during the second half of 2016 should come in somewhere between 80 million and 84 million units.

The last major iPhone controversy was in the form of #bendgate, where iPhone 6 Plus units started to go out of shape in users’ pockets. Apple resolved the problem quickly by replacing the materials for the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus with a sturdier build of aluminum. But there was never any danger of injury to a user that mandated an immediate recall.

The report of an iPhone 7 exploding is only an isolated incident right now. But the new iPhone 7s have a greater concentration of battery cells, several upgrades on board, a dual camera for the first time in iPhone history, and a new and more powerful A10 Fusion chip.


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