Apple blames exploding iPhones on user error

iphone-3g-black-1My whole life, people have come to me asking how to fix a certain computer problem or a particular gadget-related bug. I guess everyone thinks that all geeks are born knowing how to fix gadgets. But I digress. The point is that the first thing I think when someone tells me their computer/gadget has gone wonky is “user error.” But, that has more to do with me being a tech-snob (what, you got a problem with that?) than a real answer to anyone’s problems. Apple, on the other hand, seems to have no problem blaming iPhone users for their iPhone’s exploding.

Following on reports of “exploding” iPhones that prompted EU officials to ask Apple to look into the matter, Apple is now saying that the iPhone failures are a result of  “external force that was applied to the iPhone.” Apparently, the presumed culprit behind the hissing and exploding iPhones – the Li-ion battery – isn’t to blame. Instead, it seems that Apple is saying “you did something stupid to cause your iPhone to break.”

“To date, there are no confirmed battery overheating incidents for iPhone 3GS and the number of reports we are investigating is in the single digits.”

“The iPhones with broken glass that we have analysed to date show that in all cases the glass cracked due to an external force that was applied to the iPhone.” – Apple

French consumer affairs minister Herve Novelli backed up Apple’s claims that the iPhones in question weren’t damaged due to overheating batteries, but that a pre-existing shock must have cracked the screens. Still, Novelli mentions that it’s not clear if the cracked iPhone glass was to be blamed on the iPhone user or an Apple design flaw.

For what it’s worth, one of the iPhone users allegedly injured by their exploding iPhone has refused to turn in his iPhone for testing, making it hard to determine the cause of the failed iPhone.

[AFP via: MacRumors]

  • Darius

    The screen of my iPhone suddenly shattered in my hand just after I unplugged it from charging. Screen seems to have shattered from the inside as the top surface is fine. O2 (in the UK) didn’t want to know as it was more than a year old (but still in contract).

    I contacted Apple and they said there were no known issues. I asked if they would at least look at it and they said no. They suggested I contacted O2 to establish my consumer rights. So it doesn’t surprise me that Apple have seen no evidence of screens cracking due to overheating – because they are refusing to look at the evidence in the first place.

    The other issue is that if there is any other damage to the phone, they are going to assume that it must be what caused the damage. As phones can suffer from wear and tear, it may be difficult to prove. That said, these phones should be well designed to withstand lights knocks etc.

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