iPhone Explodes in Woman’s Hand Months After 3rd-Party Battery Swap

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An iPhone exploded in a woman’s hand after a third-party repair shop replaced the device’s battery.

The terrifying incident, which was caught on CCTV, occurred April 3 at a Shanghai maintenance shop. The footage shows repair workers and the woman calmly sitting around a table when the iPhone suddenly bursts into flames. The woman, Ren, was holding the device when it exploded.

“I was still talking to the technician and was holding (the iPhone) with my left hand when it suddenly exploded,” Ren said.

When the device’s battery ignites, Ren justifiably reels back in her chair. Other people back away from the flames while one worker attempts to deal with the fire, which quickly goes out.

“Their manager took me the hospital,” Ren said. She was treated for burns she had sustained to her arms at Huangpu Central Hospital, according to The Mirror.

Reportedly, Ren had gotten a replacement battery at the third-party repair shop about four months prior. That battery had begun to bulge, which prompted the woman to return to the repair shop.

It’s not readily clear whether the explosion occurred before that defective battery had been replaced, or after it was swapped out for a new one at the maintenance shop. The exact cause of the fire is currently under investigation, The Mirror reported.

An Apple Store district spokeswoman said that the store shown in the video is not connected to the Cupertino tech giant in any way. “We have an authorised service centre next door called Bybon, but this shop in question is not licensed by us.”

While iPhones do not have as fiery of a reputation as certain other devices previously on the market, fires and explosions can occur. In the vast majority of cases, these explosions are caused by a damaged or defective lithium-ion battery — oftentimes after a battery was installed by a non-authorized service center.

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