Apple is investigating a small number of reports of iPhone 8 Plus models “splitting open.” Details are scarce at this point, but reports indicate that at least two iPhone 8 Plus models have split open.
In one case, a Taiwanese woman’s iPhone 8 Plus “split open” while it was being charged with the official Apple cable and wall brick supplied in the box. The event occurred five days after she bought the device. According to local media, the owner reported seeing the front panel bulge and lift completely from the device after about three minutes of charging.
The other confirmed report comes from an iPhone 8 Plus owner in Japan, who tweeted photos of the damaged device last week. According to the user, the device was already split open when he unboxed it.
It’s currently unclear why these iPhone 8 Plus models are splitting open, and the two reports seem to be contradictory. The device in Taiwan could have suffered from a faulty battery-related issue, for example, as it split during charging. But the report out of Japan, in which the device arrived split open, seems to suggest that it’s not a battery problem.
— まごころ (@Magokoro0511) September 24, 2017
More than that, if it is a battery issue, it doesn’t appear to be as severe as the notoriously fiery Galaxy Note 7. It doesn’t look like the devices exploded or ignited, as there are no visible burn marks or extensive damage to the casing in either report. Apple is reportedly only aware of these two cases and is carefully investigating the issue.
Until there are more reports of casing-related issues, it might be best to view these as isolated incidents. With a device as mass-produced as the iPhone 8 Plus, there are bound to be a small percentage of defective models. There’s currently no evidence suggesting that it’s a more widespread issue.
Of course, if you’re an iPhone 8 Plus owner, it might be best to be on the safe side and keep an eye on it while it’s charging. If you notice any bulging or splitting open, carefully and immediately move the device to a safe and open place away from anything flammable.