First Reported Swollen iPhone in the US Encourages a Theory

So, Apple fixed the exploding iPhone issue?

Apple’s iPhones have had a long history of exploding. While the Samsung Note 7 will go down in infamy as the most explosive single device, the iPhone has been exploding for multiple generations of the devices. Each of these explosions that make it’s way to news reports, meet the same public response from Apple. That response is that they shall investigate it. Now, it’s been years since UTB has been reporting on iPhones exploding, would you care to wager how many results we’ve seen from those investigations? If you answered zero, you would be correct.

With the new iPhone 8, it appears Apple has finally fixed the explosion problem. That’s a good thing. As to how well it’s fixed leaves this blogger scratching his head. You see, from a layman’s point of view, it doesn’t seem that the problem has been corrected, in as much as a symptom. Allow me to explain.

What is the problem? The problem is that batteries are getting damaged and this damage results in lithium ion batteries exploding. I think it is fairly well agreed upon that the reason that we see so many iPhones exploding is because the phone is so thin, that any damage or flex (dare I say bend?) to the phone results in a battery that goes boom. When these batteries explode, it can be quite immediate and dramatic, with white hot flames and steaming smoke erupting from the device. There have been many instances where people have been injured and property damage incurred. It’s quite a problem.

With the iPhone 8, we have yet to see an iPhone explode in this nature. What we have seen is phones splitting apart at the seems. Their screen bent back with a view of the innards of the phone from the outside. This of course, is not a good thing. This has been attributed to the battery of the device swelling. This is bad. Luckily though, that we know of, there has been no fires, no smoke, no injuries, and no property damage. This is a good thing. What has Apple’s response been to each of these instances? That they shall investigate. Do you think we’ll ever get an answer from Apple? I’m not holding my breath.

I have strayed from reporting on any of these bulging iPhones simply because I was unsure what was happening. To be honest, I’m still unsure. It’s not as if I have seen any of these phones first hand, and I’m hardly someone that would be qualified to examine one for cause even if I had. There has been no bodily harm, or much of a threat of one, so I didn’t see the need in pushing warnings out to users as I have in the past. But upon hearing of the latest bulging iPhone 8, the first to be reported occurring in the US, it got me wondering what Apple has done to exchange the explosions for bulges.

I have a theory. Now, my theory is based on no expertise, and as I said before, I haven’t seen any of these phones myself. But when years of Apple investigations bear no fruit, what are we left to do but postulate to ourselves? Apple obviously hasn’t re-engineered the phone to fix the battery issue. They’re still just as thin as always. Apple also obviously hasn’t changed the battery technology to stop the explosions. Instead, what they appear to have done is contain the explosion. Could Apple have changed the packaging of the batteries in order to ensure that a fiery explosion stayed within the battery, instead of escaping to wreak havoc for the user? It seems to me they have, and I’d be very interested in someone with some manufacturing knowledge to test that theory.

If Apple did indeed create a new containment packaging for their explosive phone batteries, the risk of injury will be less, and that is a good thing. The question is, is this a good enough cure for consumers? It wouldn’t be for me.

swollen iPhone


Founder & Owner of UTB Blogs. Former BlackBerry Elite. When I'm not talking or writing about BlackBerry, you'll find me using my BlackBerry.