An Apple iPhone spontaneously began smoking and emitting a red glow while aboard an airplane in Australia. Passengers aboard Regional Express flight ZL319 were welcomed to their destination in Sydney, Australia on Friday by a frightening ordeal. According to the airline, a passenger’s iPhone began “emitting a significant amount of dense smoke” shortly after the flight landed, and the smoke was accompanied by a red glow. A flight attendant extinguished the device and no passengers or airline staff were injured according to the airline. The phone in question appears to be an iPhone 4 (pictured above) as opposed to the new iPhone 4S model, and it has been collected by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau as part of its investigation. Regional Express’ full press release follows below. More →
A Foxconn factory in Shadong, China caught fire on Tuesday but the blaze was quickly extinguished, Reuters reported. Foxconn said there will not be an impact on production and there were no worker casualties. An explosion caused damage at a Foxconn factory in Chengdu, China in May, and resulted in three Foxconn worker deaths, 15 injuries and a slowdown in Apple iPad production. That tragedy also caused a 2.14% monthly revenue dip, or about US$6.95 billion in lost revenue. A Foxconn spokesperson told Reuters that Tuesday’s fire was caused by electrical cables on the factory roof and noted that the damages will be covered by insurance. A video of the fire follows after the break. More →
Amazon will unveil its Android-powered “Kindle Fire” tablet on Wednesday during a press event in New York City. The Kindle Fire will begin to ship during the second week of November and, with a similar-sized 7-inch screen, the device looks very much like the BlackBerry PlayBook according to reports. GDGT explained that the device was built by Quanta, the same manufacturer that built the PlayBook, and the firm played a big role in designing each of the slates. While recent leaks have created a lot of buzz about the potential tablet, GDGT suggested the tablet might not be that exciting. Reportedly the Kindle Fire is “pretty poor” and was rushed out the door so that Amazon had a product on store shelves for the holiday season. TechCrunch argued the Kindle Fire is better than the PlayBook, however, thanks to Amazon’s content and a “custom version of Android.” The Kindle Fire is powered by a TI dual-core OMAP chip but the processor speed is still unclear. Amazon is expected to price the device between $250 and $300. BGR will covering Amazon’s press conference live on Wednesday, so be sure to tune in for more details. More →
“I want to make sure that the employees don’t believe that I’ve abandoned them. I would never abandon them.” Those are the words of former Yahoo chief executive officer Carol Bartz who was fired from the firm over the phone last week but who said she would remain on the company’s board. Bartz no longer has a position on the board as of Monday, however, and it is possible that is a result of a recent interview with Fortune during which Bartz said Yahoo “f***ed me over” and called the rest of the company’s board “doofuses.” “On September 9, 2011, Carol Bartz resigned from the board of directors of Yahoo! Inc., effective immediately,” Charles Sipkins, a spokesperson for the board said in an email obtained by Reuters on Sunday. Bartz’s words could have cost her $10 million, according to Fortune which noted the exec had a non-disparagement clause in her contract with Yahoo. More →
Research In Motion will lay off 2,000 of its employees, or about 10% of its total workforce, as part of a cost optimization program. “The workforce reduction is believed to be a prudent and necessary step for the long term success of the company and it follows an extended period of rapid growth within the company whereby the workforce had nearly quadrupled in the last five years alone,” the company said in a statement. The BlackBerry maker is also reorganizing several of its top management positions. RIM’s company statement does not mention any changes to the Co-CEO and Co-Chairman roles held by Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie. RIM recently lost several executives, including the Vice President of digital marketing and media and the BlackBerry PlayBook senior product manager, to competitors including Samsung. Read on for the full press release. More →
Cisco announced on Tuesday that it will layoff 9% of its workforce, or 6,500 jobs, in an effort to boost profits. That figure is lower than original speculation that the company would cut 10,000 employees. Cisco made the move as part of an effort to cut $1 billion in annual costs while spurring profit growth, Bloomberg reported. 2,100 of the 6,500 employees have agreed to an early-retirement program. Additionally, Cisco plans to sell a Juarez, Mexico-based manufacturing facility to Foxconn. The move will transfer 5,000 workers elsewhere but will not result in job cuts. Earlier this year, the company laid-off 550 additional employees when it announced that it was killing off its Flip camera arm in an effort to restructure its consumer business. More →
Skype has started to fire several of its executives in an effort to reduce payouts from its Microsoft purchase, Bloomberg reported on Monday. Among the execs being let go are vice presidents Christopher Dean, David Gurle, don Albert, and Russ Shaw, as well as chief marketing officer Doug Bewsher, and the head of human resources, Anne Gillespi. Two other execs from Skype’s Qik acquisition earlier this year — Ramu Sunkara and Allyson Campa — were also fired according to the report. This could possibly mean that the executives will lose any stock options that were not yet vested. Microsoft announced on May 10th that it was acquiring Skype for $8.5 billion, and the deal is still pending FCC approval. More →
A sad Samsung Focus owner recently took to AT&T’s online forum with a tale of woe that could spell trouble for AT&T and Samsung. With pictures as evidence, the man alleges that his Samsung smartphone overheated while charging and burned both the charger port and the cable connector. He claims that his handset began repeatedly sounding a charging chime, even when it was not plugged into the charger. The man plugged his phone in to see if it might stop the chimes and within 30 seconds he says he smelled the delightful aroma of burning electronics. A power surge could have been a possible explanation, but the plot then thickened; several other Focus owners have since reported symptoms similar to those that lead up to the meltdown, though none have reported fiery finales at this point. The story doesn’t quite have the same flare as news of an iPhone 4 owner whose device recently exploded and burned his hand, but we’re sure this former Focus fan didn’t mind escaping unscathed. What he did mind, however, is AT&T store reps’ less-than-helpful response to the man’s predicament. Rather than swapping the phone out on the spot, they’re making him jump through warranty claim hoops in order to replace his fricasseed phone. Hit the break for two more images of the damaged Focus. More →
Competing smartphone platforms might be catching up to iOS when it comes to apps and UI styling — but can your Google phone do this? An iPhone 4 belonging to Omar Huartas allegedly blew up while his wife was holding it. According to Huertas’ video recount of the incident, the Apple smartphone became extremely hot while his wife held the device. The battery apparently swelled, dislodging the rear battery cover and catching fire. Huertas’ wife dropped the device on a table where it left visible burn marks. At some point during the fray, it also allegedly burned Huertas’ hand and expelled enough smoke that it set off his fire alarm. In a tweet to @ceoSteveJobs, a parody account on Twitter that Mr. Huertas may have thought to be real, Huertas writes, “my name omar huertas your iphone 4 blew up in my wife hand battery i spoke with apple i need something done loss data kids pic.” Huertas says he went to the Apple store to get a replacement phone, and it is unclear whether or not the affected handset is still in his possession. Hit the break for a bizarre video reenactment of the alleged incident. More →
We’ve just received a tip about a small fire that occurred at a RIM warehouse. Details about the safety of those working in the warehouse and what was stored in the warehouse were not disclosed. We’ve reached out to Research In Motion and will update this post with any response. More →
One of our very close AT&T sources just sent us in these images. Yes, it’s a fried iPhone 4. Apparently a customer brought the phone into the store to try and get help with it, although it’s pretty evident that the phone is unrepairable. It’s the first time our guy has seen this happen (us too), but the brand new iPhone 4 caught on fire while being hooked up to a computer using the Apple USB cable that accompanied the device. The customer wanted to exchange the iPhone — obviously — for a new, non-charred unit however the AT&T store in question was out of stock. An Apple Store did confirm to our AT&T connection that this did appear to be a defective USB port and not some sort of user error. Our source went onto say that the phone bezel was extremely hot (obviously), and it slightly burned the customers hand. The USB port in the phone was slightly melted and the cord was badly melted (as is apparent in the pictures). Hopefully this is the only time we see our beloved iPhones meet a fiery death. We’ve got one more picture for you after the break. More →
Sony has just announced its latest line of laptop batteries, engineered exclusively for masochists. Wait, no, don’t get excited. It looks like it was just an accident that Sony’s notebook batteries have been melting on people’s laps. Back to the shadows of society you go, you crazy deviants. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has decided to recall approximately 35,000 laptop batteries after reports from 19 people that their lappys got a bit too hot to handle. 17 of the 19 reported that their computers actually caught fire and two of them even suffered burns as a result. The affected batteries have shipped out in various manufacturer models including Dell, Toshiba and HP notebooks. Sony, buddy, what’s going on here? The world has been having some serious battery shortages lately and you’re off frying people’s thighs. Not cool. Sony also issued a major recall for similar reasons last month, affecting about 438,000 laptops around the world. Now this. It might not be a bad idea to start checking the battery make on potential notebook purchases from here on out… Hit the jump to find out if there’s a chance your laptop might try to stop you from reproducing, and for recall info if you plan to thwart it.
Literally, on fire. Sony, along with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, has issued a recall on its TZ-Series laptop. The TZ100 series, Z200 series, TZ300 and TZ2000 series bought from July 2007- August 2008, to be exact. No overheating batteries this time, folks, the culprit instead is a poorly placed wire and/or dislodged screw in the hinge that could cause a short circuit. Short circuit = Overheating + Potential Fire. 15 cases have been reported so this is not a recall based on one man’s long winded tale of how his iPod exploded in his pants pocket (remember that one?). About 73,000 of these potential incendiary devices are floating around. So if you or a loved one is toting one, you better give Sony a call. Don’t want to have one burst into flames while you are on an airplane and have them think you are a terrorist or something like that.