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Apple responds to viral video of a smoldering iPhone 7 Plus

Published Feb 24th, 2017 9:52AM EST
iPhone 7 Plus Battery Explosion Fire
Image: Aflo/REX/Shutterstock

Samsung may have to deal with the largest smartphone battery scandal in history, but it’s not just Galaxy Note 7 batteries that explode. It can and does happen to other devices as well (though it’s typically due to some type of impact damage as opposed to an internal defect, which was the case with the Note 7). In fact, one person’s iPhone 7 Plus caught fire recently, and her video of the smoldering iPhone went viral on Twitter. Apple has now responded, saying it will investigate the battery incident.

Briana Olivas posted a video on Twitter of her iPhone 7 Plus smoking in its case after it exploded, Gizmodo reports. The video already hit almost 25,000 retweets and more than 26,000 likes on Twitter:

“I was asleep with my phone charging next to my head, my boyfriend grabbed the phone and put it on the dresser,” Olivas told Gizmodo. “He went to the restroom … and from the corner of his eye he saw my phone steaming and [heard] a squealing noise.”

She continued, “By the time he got over to the phone it had already caught fire, he quickly grabbed the phone and threw it in the restroom … as soon as he threw [it] in the restroom, it blew up, and more smoke started coming out of the phone.”

An Apple spokesperson provided the site with a brief statement: “We are in touch with the customer and looking into it,” the company said. Apple already replaced her phone, and the company says that it is running tests on the one pictured in the video.

It turns out that Sprint had been looking into the same phone a day before it exploded. Olivas told Gizmodo that she took the phone for service because it would not turn on. The Sprint employee who handled it said the phone “looked weird when it turned on.” But the diagnostics tool he used on it said that the phone was fine.

It’s next to impossible to predict that a phone is about to explode, so Sprint having inspected it a day before it combusted is likely an unfortunate coincidence. The iPhone 7 Plus was purchased in January from the same Sprint store.

Chris Smith
Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.