iPhone 4 explodes in the cold

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iPhone 4

Service Center Apple refused resident of Norway in a free repair of her iPhone 4, which exploded in her car. The explosion occurred at a time when the phone was connected to a car stereo. According to the woman, the temperature in the cabin at that point was +20 °= 68F.

Nevertheless, the service center did not accept the unit in for free repair. They felt that the Norwegian connected the iPhone to her stereo before travel, when the temperature inside the car approached the street (-12 °) = 10 F.

In the “Product Guide” iPhone 4 says that the smartphone can not be used at temperatures below 0 ° C and above +35 °, and will exposed to sudden temperature changes.

However, representatives of Consumers’ Union of Norway recognizes that to find the true cause of breakage iPhone 4, owned by Norwegian motorists will not be easy. Cases of spontaneous “explosion” iPhone reported previously, but the cause of such incidents, as a rule, was overheating lithium-ion battery.

Why cell phones are exploding

In China, mobile phone due to defective batteries exploded in the hands of the owner … In the U.S., the notebook blew up, while standing on the table …

In France, cell phone burst into flames while charging from the mains … Similar headlines since the summer of 2009, not uncommon in the world of IT press.

But experts and market specialists believe that the number of fires and telephone notebook batteries is negligible compared with the millions of products sold, as the main cause of such incidents – the use of counterfeit and substandard batteries of unknown origin instead of “brand” recommended by the manufacturer. In a crisis, even the desire to save on battery only intensifies, experts say.

Surprisingly, victims of exploding Last Seen more often than others were the owners of technology Apple . Smartphones iPhone and Players iPod Touch has repeatedly exploded in the hands of owners and covered by a network of microcracks.

Last scandal occurred in Belgium: 15-year-old boy named Salvatore officially appealed to the company and said that the iPhone exploded in his hands straight during a telephone conversation.

By happy coincidence, the explosion was not very powerful and destroyed a smartphone, not injuring the owner.

According to the calculations of journalists British publication The Register , only in the summer of 2009 in Europe, exploded or burned 12 battery in the phone Apple . For example, on August 26 iPhone exploded in Marseilles in the hands of a local resident to be recruited at the moment SMS . Frightened Frenchman failed to get off: a glass splinter screen iPhone hit him in the eye.

Another 18-year-old Frenchman told reporters a few weeks ago France Presse , that the iPhone ‘s girlfriend hissed and poured in front of the owner within a few seconds. In thirty inches from the device was himself a young man – splinter phone and hit him in the face.

Similar incidents have occurred, of course, not only in France. In July, iPod Touch , collected from almost the same components as the iPhone , has started to heat directly into the hands of 11-year old British girl. Fortunately, the situation was the girl’s father, Ken Stenboro, who promptly threw the device out the window. After 30 seconds of it went to smoke. When the victim came to the office of Apple , he suggested replacing the device, but only if Stenboro will not advertise the incident. Outraged British did not go to the deal and told his story to the country’s largest newspaper – The Sun .

To date, accumulated several similar cases, not only in Europe but also worldwide. Company Apple flatly denied any involvement in the installation of low-quality batteries and inspects in each case – a view that is not used if the user is a fake battery in my iPhone .

Tempted, by the way, there are: the replacement battery in the iPhone can only be officially members Apple , and this replacement is not cheap.

Battery overheating and explosions – the phenomenon is not only the last time. In 2006, for example, Apple recalled 1.8 million laptops after it emerged that they may be substandard batteries prone to overheating. Then it was registered nine similar cases, two people suffered serious burns. Production of those batteries, however, involved not obscure Chinese manufacturers and the company Sony . At the same time from retailers began to withdraw their laptops company IBM , Toshiba , herself Sony and other manufacturers.

Problems with the batteries do not happen only in “apple” company. Last summer, the most egregious incident occurred in China: the Guangzhou Province in a breast shirt pocket office worker blew up Chinese mobile phone manufacturer and one of his pieces cut to the affected carotid artery – to save the owner of the phone failed.

Police began to carry out an investigation. According to her, dead battery replaced for a few hours before the explosion. On who was the producer of battery-killer, not reported. According to Chinese media in China is already the ninth fatality was due to the explosion of mobile phone. In this regard, the PRC authorities advised their citizens to use only “brand” batteries, not long talk on mobile phones and to ensure that the phones do not overheat.

A similar but less tragic incident occurred in August 2009 in Vietnam: the phone Nokia 8210 exploded and caught fire in the pocket of a woman at breakfast time and caused the burning feet. The company Nokia immediately to investigate the incident and later said that the reason was poor quality battery. Of course, counterfeit. The experts of the company then said that in Vietnam use the “Left” batteries – a very common phenomenon because of the poverty of the local population. Battery for model 8210 is worth $ 20, the victim also bought an “alternative” battery for $ 3.

Another notorious incident with a phone Nokia has been a spontaneous ignition of the device from a resident of India. Phone caught fire during charging. Immediately after this incident (it happened in 2007) Nokia has recalled from retailers 46 million of its batteries, which are engaged in the production of Toshiba .

Problems with batteries are observed not only smartphones, but also in laptops.

This year, for example, a similar incident occurred in London: Notebook Apple PowerBook on the desk clerk very heated and puffed, the more frightened the office staff. Later it was found that the battery compartment laptop just smashed the explosion. In June 2009, in the lobby of the airport in Los Angeles on fire laptop IBM . To extinguish the device had to use a fire extinguisher. Similar things have happened to the notebooks of Dell . In all cases, the batteries used in laptops, were made in China.

Lead Analyst, Mobile Research Group Eldar Murtazin said that often explode “fakes that do not have the proper electronics, administering the charge.” The second common cause of explosions – improper use: the device being beaten, wet. ”

According to experts, the cost of “brand” battery of about $ 15-20 in China, while the cheapest analog unknown production worth $ 1-3.

The only way to protect yourself, says Murtazin, a “buy only” proprietary “batteries”.

Independent expert of the market of mobile devices and smartphones, Mikhail Fadeev urged to treat the issue more calmly: “All this talk about having a place of” explosion of batteries “are in the nature of mass hysteria. Exactly the same way as the swine flu. Talk about it all who can. In reality, however a small percentage of sick people.

Look at how many units sold Apple . And how many units sold Nokia . If the millions of units sold to happen two, three, five and ten such incidents – a drop in the ocean. All batteries are almost all brands manufactured by the same Chinese factories on the same technology from the same components.

Simple cases with Nokia and the iPhone attracted attention in comparison with similar situations with other brands, thanks to the popularity of these devices in the mass consumer. ”

Business representatives in their comments generally agree with the analysts. Product Manager at the direction of the company communicators RoverComputers Eugene Cherdantsev said: “In my opinion, the issue of exploding batteries” overblown. ” Cases of explosions are not so much on the number of units sold: 1-2 cases per hundred thousand, or even less.

More frequent cases of swelling batteries, and there may be several reasons: poor quality battery, use of unauthorized chargers or even the voltage drops in the urban network, when the battery is charging.

Typically, the warranty on the battery is between 3-6 months after purchase. If your device’s battery has deteriorated in this period, do not hesitate to go to warranty service and get a new one. If later, then, unfortunately, have to buy a new one for his blood. ”

According to the vice-president of the company “Vobis Computer Viktor Lopatin,” theme of fire and an explosion occurs in the market at regular intervals every few years. Infopovodom usually is the appearance of a party or a small number of defective batteries that ignite or swell when using the device. Sometimes in such cases, the manufacturer of mass recalls batch of products or changing the batteries through the service.

This is a fairly trivial issue, and it will periodically emerge as the technology of production of lithium-ion batteries mean that at the slightest infringement, or change the process or, for example, under adverse storage conditions can turn out substandard party batteries that will swell or ignite. This does not happen often but it happens and sometimes even the most well-known brands. For example, imagine a situation where the party batteries in the winter is delivered through the Russian border and customs control passes. Frost, unheated storage spaces – this is very bad conditions for lithium-ion batteries.

As for the “original” battery, it should be understood that the majority of components produced on the same plants of China and Southeast Asia. The market get the batteries of varying quality, and purchase of the battery sometimes turns into a lottery. To buy a completely “original” battery Nokia , it needs to acquire in the company showroom Nokia and pay the proper price

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One Response

  1. Good article. Just a few words as an engineer who has done and knows something about power supply design in electronic products.

    First, the nature and variety of lithium batteries and their charging circuits combined with the rarity of actual fire incidents means that you can’t use a fire with a “Dell Laptop” as any sort of evidence to predict what might happen with an Apple iPhone or any other vendor’s product using lithium batteries. The events are already insanely rare (or even faked) and the differences in battery and charge circuitry make every case an apples-to-oranges comparison. Little can be inferred.

    Lithium batteries are such high energy electrochemical systems that it matters a great deal exactly how they were charged and discharged.

    Further every charging/discharging circuit design often need to be tailored to the particular battery vendor product (which is why Apple and most other vendors won’t endorse 3rd party batteries).

    Every charging circuit can also fail (component-wise) and will generally do so dependent on the particular circuit design and the adverse effects of such a failure on battery stability/safety being also so dependent.

    This also depends on how “premium” said components used in the charging circuit are, not just the battery itself. For a company that tries to squeeze out every dime of cost, expect more chance of adverse failure in the charge/discharge circuitry and battery because these are more likely to have been substituted over time for the originally designed-in components.

    Designing power supplies for electronics is one of the more challenging aspects of product design. It sometimes gets the shortest shrift due to appearing to be “unsexy” and “boring”. This seldom ends well.

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