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May 15, 2018

iPhone explodes, catches fire in terrifying Las Vegas security footage

by John_A

Samsung might not be the only smartphone maker with exploding handsets in its portfolio — chief rival Apple may be feeling the heat as well. In a rather alarming surveillance video, an iPhone can be seen exploding and subsequently catching fire in a store in Las Vegas.

In a video taken on Friday, May 11, an employee of an as-of-yet unidentified store can be seen working at a counter when suddenly, an iPhone a couple of feet away on the counter quite literally goes up in flames. The employee, startled, moves far away from the handset as it continues to burn. No one was hurt in the incident.

The store specializes in phone repairs, but apparently, this was one mobile device that was suffering from significantly more than just a cracked screen. Indeed, it would seem that in some cases, a damaged mobile device can be a fire hazard.

While the surveillance video makes it difficult to ascertain exactly what device exploded on the employee’s desk, ABC affiliate KTNV, which first reported the news, notes that the handset was an iPhone 6S. This is not the first time that an Apple phone has exploded and caught fire. Last December, security footage showed an iPhone 6 exploding in a man’s hands, and previously, iPhone 8 batteries have also reportedly swollen and cracked, which is often seen as a precursor to more dangerous combustion.

To be fair, there aren’t any handsets that are entirely risk-free when it comes to explosion. The vast majority (if not all) of phones depend upon lithium-ion batteries, which tend to be dangerous if they’re either damaged or defective. Batteries, indeed, were the culprit behind the issues with the now infamous Samsung Galaxy Note 7 — Samsung ultimately determined that the handsets overheated due to defective batteries supplied from two different companies and eventually recalled all Note 7 phones. And seeing as the exploding iPhone was in the midst of a repair when the explosion happened, it’s possible that the battery had already been damaged.

As Mashable reports, another possible scenario was that the iPhone was left in the heat for too long, causing battery damage. And seeing as the incident took place in Las Vegas, a city not known for its cool temperatures, it could be the case that the iPhone was suffering from a sort of mobile heat stroke.

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