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'Exploding iPhone' leaves Swedish man in shock

'Exploding iPhone' leaves Swedish man in shock

Published: 09 Jul 2012 15:30 GMT+02:00
Updated: 09 Jul 2012 15:30 GMT+02:00

Hans Wellgren, a retired Volvo engineering analyst from Gothenburg, was gobsmacked when a recent attempt to fix his phone failed spectacularly.

“It exploded, just like a flare, and filled the car with toxic smoke," the 74-year-old told The Local.

"I couldn’t see anything and knocked my tooth out while throwing the damn thing out the window!”

Wallgren has spent his life trying to make products safer and was shocked that the iPhone did not have a warning explaining the danger of removing the battery.

“It was scary but it would’ve been worse if it had happened in my house. The whole place could have burnt down,” he said.

Meanwhile, Nora Ay of Siba, an electronics retailer that sells iPhones in Sweden, told the local Göteborgs-Posten (GP) newspaper that she has never heard of an iPhone catching fire, adding that the product’s handbook explains that owners should never replace batteries themselves.

Wallgren, however, explained that he wants the public to know about his accident as he believes worse problems may occur for others if Apple doesn't enclose a warning text in the phone itself.

“A product should work and be safe, and if it doesn’t, the company should take responsibility,” he said.

Apart from being told by the store that the phone is irreparable, he has not received any explanations as to why it started to burn and now claims to be very sceptical about iPhones in general.

“No one has explained why this happened. The phone is crap and I’m not going to buy another one,” he told The Local.

Salomon Rogberg

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Your comments about this article

16:33 July 9, 2012 by byke
What an idiot.

The phones don't have a replacement battery as part of their design ... so any home made attempt just proves darwins theory of natural selection.

And what I like best on this story is he was an engineering ANALYST .... who had retired many years ago.
16:43 July 9, 2012 by aprakashchennai
There is a manual always and i don't know how (an engineering analyst) he missed it in the first place and asks for a warning text on the mobile embossed. Wat a foolish thought (with due respect for the age).Should they put a warning "Running into a truck is a danger'', its common sense....don't blame on iPhone
17:06 July 9, 2012 by WelshSwede
That will teach him! Num Nutz
17:09 July 9, 2012 by JohnnyEnglish
Just another reason why you shouldn't buy an iphone. You can't even change the battery. What a stupid product.
17:20 July 9, 2012 by atlasshrugged
isn't RTFM engineer's motto?! I hate when people externalize their problem this way...

the idea behind iPhone was(and is) a genius and we have seen how it has revolutionized the way we communicate(to say the least)! seriously, people (including engineers) RTFM before trying to do something as crazy as the old lad has tried to do--:)
18:31 July 9, 2012 by arnestrand
What a splendid article! I feel sorry for the poor elderly gentleman and his iPhone. It´s not easy for elderly people nowadays.
18:35 July 9, 2012 by marissa516
Why the hell he was fixing his phone in the car?
19:31 July 9, 2012 by JohnnyEnglish
Maybe he needed to make a call.
19:37 July 9, 2012 by muscle
He was an analyst and not an engineer. Shiuldnthavedone it. BUT if it had veen an engineer i am sure he would have tried such experiment on several phones after such incident and would have thought....how cool is that. Damn
20:44 July 9, 2012 by cupidcub
I can see a lot of love for iPhone but very little sympathy for a old man. On the first hand what sort of bullshit electronic product explode ? I didn't know that battery of the stupid device can not be changed. Another way to suck money from people I guess. But well, there are i-lovers who are stupid enough to pay 5 times high, just for a little showoff.
21:12 July 9, 2012 by Chris Rose
This is such a BS article - regurgitated and SLANTED by The Local.

What was left out was that the man tried to PUT A NEW BATTERY in a used iPhone he bought off the web and managed to puncture it.

The Local is not exactly a news site you can rely on to be truthful!

Dishonest "journalism"!
21:18 July 9, 2012 by rfmann
I have no sympathy for iPhones and their users, but this man's silliness didn't stop at buying a faddish product, he took it apart to 'fix' in ways it was not intended to be fixed by consumers, he did so in his car, he blew up his phone, chipped his tooth, and if all this wasn't embarrassing enough, when the idea to make a federal case out of his own stupidity came into his chipped-toothed head, he did not have the maturity to dismiss it.

All these years slaving away as an analyst in this cold and remote country, and when finally his 15min of fame arrive, he gets famous for being an utter dunce. Oh well.
21:27 July 9, 2012 by Mxzf
Wait, did he replace the battery while driving?
00:48 July 10, 2012 by Garry Jones
Another one??????

A quick google gave me this info....

In 2009 a French teenager was hit in the eye with a glass splinter from an exploding iPhone.

Australian aviation authorities have launched an investigation after an iPhone caught fire aboard a flight to Sydney.

For the second time in less than a week, an Apple iPhone 4 has reportedly exploded, this time in Brazil, according to Mashable. The phone, which was plugged in for an overnight charge, suddenly began sparking and emitting smoke while it was just inches from its owner's face.

Video footage allegedly showing an iPhone exploding in a 17-year old's pocket has made its way onto the internet. The 17-year-old in question is named as Henri Helminen, and in the video he is seen with smoke pouring out of his pocket as his iPhone burns enthusiastically. He is then seen pulling the smartphone out of his pocket — quickly! — before throwing it to the floor.

According to one website......

1. Keep the device away from you, if you are using iPod for music or iPhone to talk to someone or surfing, use the head sets, ear phones and Bluetooth devices.

2. Be aware of changes in the device. If the iPhone is getting hotter, if its start to make noises, raise smoke or shake un normally, it's a sign something is about to happen.

3. Use safety devices for your iPhone and iPod. Any kind of cover, plastic cover can save you when the iPhone is about to explode when the plastic cover will absorb most of the pieces which are about to blast away.

4. Listen to your iPhone and get to know when the iPhone is about is explode in you hand on in the pocket. When you feel this is the time, the best thing to do is to throw it away and let the iPhone explode far from you. Later on, please collect all the pieces.
02:37 July 10, 2012 by elmaka
I heard about exploding Iphone before.If this happened to me I would sue apple
04:58 July 10, 2012 by dsign
But, doesn't it make you feel a little at unease to carry such a small bomb in your pocket, and take it to your face every time you talk with your mother-in-law? .... Even if I don't use one, I will feel a bit of anxiety the next time I board a plane, knowing how many iPhones will be inside.
12:22 July 10, 2012 by Just_Kidding
Don't buy a Volvo or iPhone.
12:25 July 10, 2012 by JohnnyEnglish
Terrorist to the pilot -"Fly this plane to Palestine or else I'll changed the battery in my iphone"
20:14 July 10, 2012 by Mark S.
It isn't the phone that explodes -- it is the battery. If you puncture the battery, it may explode. If you place a short circuit across the battery terminals (e.g. touch them both with the screwdriver you are using to pry open the phone), the battery may explode.

All cell phones, tablet computers, and laptop computers are made with this type of battery.

There are other batteries that have less (but not zero) risk of this type of failure. They are much larger and heavier, so nobody wants them in portable devices. It is possible to make a cell phone that uses 4 to 6 size AA batteries, though you might not like how often you have to change them. And AA batteries can explode if you puncture them.

You can argue that the risk is too great, but don't forget that the risk of a cell phone exploding from a faulty battery is less than the risk of your car catching on fire from leaking gasoline.
11:38 July 11, 2012 by Ned Smitty
What an idiot... "he believes worse problems may occur for others if Apple doesn't enclose a warning text in the phone itself"

I'm not even going to comment on the fact that changing an iPhone battery isn't a user changable part, but I'm looking at an iphone 4 battery right now and right below the large warning triangle and exclamation mark, it says:

"WARNING: Potential for fire or burning. Do not disassemble, puncture, crush, heat or burn.

Maybe it was the lack of "large, friendly letters"

No wonder Apple have pentalobe screws to try and stop people like this getting into it.
06:35 July 13, 2012 by Da Goat
That apple definitely had a worm in it!

the idea is when the battery goes flat you throw it away (or sell it to an old fool on Ebay) or even better still throw it away before you take your money out of your pocket, leave the defective by design Apple products on the shelf . If it is not user modifiable/repairable it is not designed for normal use. He should have gone for a Android phone as they are now cheaper and better than Crapple! One should not buy a time bomb (even if they don't explode/die straight away) sooner or later it will die and it is not fixable, not even apple fix them they just clone onto another one!
00:01 July 16, 2012 by muscle
@Da goat

Considering the depreciation value of such products, I think a couple of years will render the cell phone to almost zero value. Meaning, there is no sense of using it anymore, if you have money, better to buy a new cell. I am pretty much sure, the battery can sustain this time duration.

So whats the use of buying a cheaper android phone, with replaceable battery, if you are going to change it anyway after some years?

By the way, I always go to such options, as you mentioned, and for the same reasons you have mentioned. But still unable to justify myself!
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