A couple of reports from Taiwan and Japan bring bad news about the iPhone 8. Apparently, at least two iPhone 8 Plus shipped with damaged batteries that ended up causing the devices to crack open.
Before you ask, no, the batteries did not explode. But they did swell up, which is a safety mechanism meant to prevent actual battery explosions and fires.
It’s unclear what caused the battery to swell up, and accidents do happen with any device powered by a battery, iPhones included. The fact it just happened to brand new iPhone 8 units is obviously a red flag for Apple, which will investigate the incidents.
According to cnBeta, a Taiwanese woman who just purchased a 64GB iPhone 8 Plus charged the device using the original cable and adaptor. After three minutes, she saw the front panel bulge up. Apple is reportedly now in possession of the device for analysis.
A similar case was reported in Japan, where a buyer says the iPhone 8 Plus was shipped with the screen detached:
— マゴコロ (@Magokoro0511) September 24, 2017
The only thing inside a smartphone that can push out the display in such a manner is the battery. And the display is the most likely component to be affected by a battery that swells up.
It appears the battery inside the iPhone 8 Plus is made by Amperex Technology Limited (ATL), The Next Web says, citing unconfirmed reports. ATL was one of the two suppliers of faulty Galaxy Note 7 batteries that Samsung threw under the bus in early 2017. However, that shouldn’t be a cause for concern, as long as these are isolated incidents. After all, the Galaxy Note 7 explosions were caused by Samsung’s faulty design, not the companies building the batteries.