A bicyclist from Sydney, Australia has been recovering from serious burn injuries after his iPhone suddenly exploded while he was on a ride. 36-year-old Gareth Clear was riding his bike this past weekend, on a bike trail that he says he has ridden hundreds of times before.
When Clear fell off of his bike, he first noticed scrapes and abrasions to his upper right thigh, but then he noticed something else had gone wrong. “The first thing was just complete bewilderment about why smoke was coming out of- excuse my terminology - coming out of my behind,” Clear explained. “I realized it was my phone and I was just flailing to get my trousers off and my phone had caused my two layers of shorts, my Skins and my cycling shorts, to melt." Clear also suffered blisters on his fingers from touching his phone.
Luckily, Clear managed to get himself to the nearest hospital before being transferred to the burn unit at Royal North Shore hospital, where he was informed that he suffered third-degree burns on his upper-thigh and would need skin graft surgery. “It was like a black ring around it, with my shorts material around the outside and the lithium material inside,” Clear described. He is worried that the lithium chemical inside of the phone may have gotten inside of him, which could cause other side-effects. “I’m not a chemist, I’m not an electrical engineer, so I don’t really know what the impact of that would be if it got into my body.”
Clear has been disappointed with the response from Apple. “No one’s asked me how are you? How’s your body? How’s the hole in your leg that’s just exploded, how’s that?” Clear pointed out. “It was a very technical-driven response, which surprised me. But look, I bear no grudges against Apple. It’s an iPhone, I purchased it. At this point, Clear says it’s Apple’s responsibility to make sure the same incident doesn’t happen to other people. “What if it was my face? What if that was someone else’s face? What if that’s a young kid that’s left alone with an iPhone, and is banging away and is left unsupervised and something happens?” Clear questioned.
Unfortunately, Clear isn't the only one to experience his iPhone battery exploding. In 2014, a Maine 8th grader was burned by her iPhone 5C when it started to overheat in her back pocket. According to Digital Trends, she went to sit down in her chair when she heard a pop, and the phone started to heat up. The student was forced to take off her pants when the phone started to smoke, causing minor burns. In another incident, two people from the Czech Republican reported that their iPhones didn't explode, but started to balloon up, causing the casing of the phone to split open. The lithium ion battery inside expanded to more than twice its original size.
Apple has not yet claimed any responsibility for these incidents. Instead they have blamed "external forces" putting stress on the devices as the the cause of these malfunctions. To prevent explosions, iPhone users should avoid overheating, overcharging, and applying large amounts of pressure to their devices.
There are a lot of things bicyclists should be cautious of while riding, but exploding iPhones shouldn't be one of them. If you or somebody you know has been injured through no fault of their own while riding their bike, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our highly experienced attorneys can help you understand your rights according to Michigan law and can get you the help that you need. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.