back to article My Droid EXPLODED mid phone call, says Texan

A Texas man says he had to get four stitches in his ear after a spanking new Droid 2 smartphone exploded while he was in mid conversation. A bandaged Aron Embry told a local Fox News affiliate he heard a popping noise but didn't think much of it until he realized he sustained minor injuries. “I felt something dripping,” he told …

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Anonymous Coward

Perhaps

Perhaps the gravity field generated by his massive head sucked the screen out.

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Coat

Goodness gracious!

You blew my mo-fo up and rattled my brain.

That kind of blast can drive a man insane.

You flared my pants, and made me dance.

Goodness gracious, great balls of fire!

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WTF?

What the fox

I love how apparently owning a phone repair company qualifies you as being a general all-round "Tech Expert" according to the video report!

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Mossad?

Didn't they do something like this a few years ago?.

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Linux

Simple solution

Don't hold it against your head that way.

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Anonymous Coward

That looks more "dropped" than "blown-up" to me

not least because the main blowy-uppy bit of a phone is the batter and is round the back. Also, there doesn't seem to be any of the screen actually missing, let alone embedded in his neck and head.

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Anonymous Coward

Perhaps...

....these are not the droids you are looking for?

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Troll

I was getting into my vehicle...

And slammed your head into the roof while talking on the phone?

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Grenade

He's obviously wanted by the Israelis

allegedly

http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2007/01/72400

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Joke

The explanation is obvious...

He obviously download the telepresence app, and activated it accidentally without reading the manual. Whoever he was listening to accidentally bit his ear. See?

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Happy

Not to worry........

"Perhaps the topper is the 2002 tale of a scientist who burned his penis after placing his notebook on his lap for an hour."

......If he did not notice it burning for an hour then then he did not have much use for it in the first place.

Excuse me, must go, my eyes are watering.

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Unhappy

Apple disease spreading - there must be a patent for this

It had appeared, until this report, that Apple had the corner on exploding batteries in telephones. At least the Japanese got lucky, there was a mass recall of Apple batteries there recently.

I'll have to check PatentlyApple.com to see if Jobs has a patent on the battery feature.

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Sony

Why is it an Apple problem?

It looks more like a Sony problem to me. All the big brands issued recalls:

2006 Sony notebook computer batteries recall:

* August 2006: Dell recalls over four million notebook computer batteries, after a number of instances where the batteries, made by Sony, overheated or caught fire. Most of the defective notebooks were sold in the US, however some one million faulty batteries could be found elsewhere in the world.

* August 2006: Following Dell's battery recall Apple Computer also recalls 1.8 million Sony notebook computer batteries. Similar to Dell, most of the notebooks were sold in the United States. However some 700,000 units could be found overseas.

* September 2006: Matsushita (Panasonic) recalls 6,000 batteries.

* September 2006: Toshiba recalls 340,000 batteries.

* September 2006: IBM/Lenovo recalls 500,000 batteries.

* October 2006: Hitachi recalls 16,000 batteries.

* October 2006: Fujitsu recalls 338,000 batteries.

* October 2006: Sharp recalls 28,000 batteries.

* February 2007: Lenovo and Sanyo recalls 200,000 batteries.

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Apple

Due to one of two reasons.

1. He's young and that's as far as his memory goes back.

or

2. He's old and like most Americans, his memory only goes back to the last news cycle.

Helluva thing, isn't it?

Sigh

:(

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Doesn't look like the battery was at fault.

I looks more like a tolerance problem between the screen and the case and the heat put out by a big fat boy.

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FAIL

Apple has special warranty arrangements which is why you hear little

A youth in Belgium had an iPhone blow up (a model before the Lemon version) and before Apple would do anything he was asked to sign one of Apples non-disclosure agreements.

Similar thing happened in France.

Apple claims to design and have manufactured batteries conforming to it's design. Obviously the whole bunch have problems if everyone is walking around with an IUD in their pocket.

Apple was forced to recall batteries in Japan when their government demanded it. Unfortunately most governments either have minimal customer protection or don't give a damn.

P.S. Apple products exposed to cigarette smoke will be refused warranty or other repairs.

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Urh
Coat

Problems indeed.

"Obviously the whole bunch have problems if everyone is walking around with an IUD in their pocket."

The problems have to be pretty damn huge if iPhones are being equipped with female contraceptive devices...

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Linux

Well

an iphone would make me think twice before sleeping with anyone :-)

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Coffee/keyboard

Apple & Smoking?

Nope.

The only place where Apple will not fix your machine if you smoke is in the stores run by the Smoking Nazis

My Apple repairman only gets mad when I use the KB as an ash tray.

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Jobs Horns

USING ANDROID WILL KILL YOU!!11

Well, that or he dropped the phone and cracked the screen and kept using it (note: even after the "explosion", the phone still works) and managed to slice open his ear on the broken glass.

No health insurance, filing frivolous lawsuits... $5 says he's a Teabagger Republican.

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Alert

Android is an OS, not hardware & millions of Americans have no insurance

Android would likely never kill anyone, except iOS - but it is not living, so you have to look further to the hardware manufacturer and it's subcontractors.

As for health insurance, you must have been on another planet with the U.S. discussed new health insurance for a year which was reported worldwide as other countries populations were amazed people had no free health coverage as most civilised nations do.

There is over 10% unemployment in the U.S. and the first thing to go is usually the health insurance followed by mortgage payments.

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Why has the operating system been mentioned?

Surely its down to Motorola, the manufacturers of the phone, not the software installed on it. Even if there is a HCF instruction in the processor.

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Stop

untitled

No.. if he's faking all this to set up for a lawsuit then that would make him a "I want my govt. check democrat".

Why do you have to make this a republican vs democrat thing?

He dropped his phone and cracked the screen.. then he cut his ear on the glass. I believe this because if the force of the explosion was enough to crack the glass then the phone itself would not be functioning either.

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Coat

He's _obviously_ lying!

I mean, ask yourself, "would I buy a used car from this man"?

See?

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FAIL

Priorities

No health insurance, but money enough to buy a smartphone? At the risk of being called a socialist, but I think there's something wrong with his priorities.

Speaking of priorities. Spending four hours in the Emergency Room to get a couple of stitches? I don't know how these things work in the US, but down here spending time in the ER is an inverse measure of how badly hurt you are. It just means he was triaged to the bottom of the list, and spend his time in the waiting room reading magazines.

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Some points to consider:

1. I don't know how much a new Droid costs ($300? $400? plus service contract?), but it's entirely possible that whatever Mr. Embry paid for it would only have gotten him one month of insurance coverage. Your "priorities" point is well taken (if I had that much money burning a hole in my pocket a new shiny shiny would not be on my short list) but insurance and health care costs are insane enough in Amurka to require their own separate logic.

2. I'm surprised he only got away with four (4) hours in the emergency room, actually; I've heard of folks waiting many hours longer for far worse injuries. Here in Amurka, as I understand it, ER has to care for anyone who walks in, regardless of ability to pay or lack/ degree of insurance coverage, so consequently they cover people too poor to afford insurance or to pay for medical care out of pocket for even minor dings. Many of the injuries seen in ER could probably be more quickly (and cheaply!) tended at an "urgent" or "better have a doctor look at that" care unit, but I don't think these facilities are required to take anyone so the poor and/or uninsured do not go there and are parked at an ER waiting room instead. Yes, it's a horriffic fustercluck, but as long as the insurance, pharmaceutical/ medical "stuff", and health-care industries own huge chunks of the political process, no sane, rational approach to meeting Amurka's healthcare needs will be able to take effect. In the meantime, we taxpayers get to pay emergency room prices to provide Mr. Embry with four non- emergency stitches, yee-hah.

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Anonymous Coward

Systemic

Yes ER departments must accept anybody irrespective of ability to pay. In some cities its led to hospitals closing ER departments to save money.

However, from the horses mouth (where horse = ER nurse) it's medical liability that makes hospitals treat everybody who comes in. Triage will never send anybody home. Besides, you can't tell people to go and see their doctor if they don't have one.

Last time I knew, around here it was a minimum $500 to go to the ER and see two nurses and a doctor and be surrounding by expensive equipment while they tell you it's nothing serious and send you home. Treatment costs extra.

And I agree, one month health insurance would pay for a smartphone. In fact if I forwent my health insurance I could pay for all our (unsmart) cellphone coverage, our cable and internet and still have money left over to pay for all of my treatments in the year I've had the insurance (a "free" H1N1 vaccination).

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FAIL

Damn, you beat me to it.

If you check out : http://www.texashealthinsurance360.com/Texas_Health_Insurance_FAQ/Texas_Health_Insurance_FAQ.php

It says the average cost of health insurance in texas is about $300-$400 a month or $4000-$5000 a year for a family. That means $2000-$2500 a year each for him and his wife. She appears to work at a school, so I can imagine that she has some form of health care and could probably tack him on for not too much more. So, let's figure it would cost an extra $100-$150 a month to get him health insurance.

At BestBuy.com the phone he has appears to be $99 + $40 a month (no data included, so let's assume he adds $20 for data and other services) so $60 a month. On top of that, he's driving a "truck" so let's imagine that his "Vee-HICK-all" as he describes it is not quite making that 30mpg mark and is closer to 15mpg. That would mean he's probably paying an extra $200 a month for gas.

Shouldn't there be some sort of rule that protects people like this from themselves? There must be an institution he can be put in to keep him safe. Or more specifically, to keep us safe from him and his fellow mental ameba's. If he sues Motorola over this, the best thing Motorola can do is to offer a settlement where instead of paying cash, they set aside a trust to pay for his "special care needs".

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WTF?

No health insurance?

In what kind of third world country is is possible not to have health insurance?

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US health insurance

That will indeed be the USA, not helped by the fact that each time the sitting president tries to do something about, various lobbyists, political parties etc etc, actively do everything they can to stop a health insurance/service for all being implemented. The private health insurance business is frankly shocking with many clauses to policies. I have read more than one story about US families with a good income (100000USD plus a year) go bankrupt because one person gets badly ill and there insurance does not cover everything.

Those that knock NHS have no idea, I for one am more than aware of its true value, for all of its perceived faults.

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US health insurance Part Duex

<rant>

IF the US Government could run anything efficiently and UNDER budget, I would support a national healthcare system - but it cannot no matter which party is in control, they all talk out their ass.

IF Obamacare was the greatest thing since sliced bread, why did Congress exempt itself from it? The 'Good for the Goose, Good for the Gander' rule applies here.

IF I got elected (they would bury me long before that), my family would be set for life. Take note of you favorite flavor of politician, if they were not a millionaire or better BEFORE they became a 'public servant', they damn sure are AFTER they were elected. (Anyone mentions Chris Dodd to me gets it virtually in the nads - his money is in his wife's name - check it)

The scariest sentence known to man is: "I'm from the Government and I'm here to help".

</rant>

I can say from my own recent personal experience that it's hard, very hard to keep a family covered with health care, we have zero right now. I have a thumb that needs a stitch or two but I dealt with it with bandaids and liquid bandage (burns like hell but works) because I decided food was more important. Yeah, it sucks.

I said recently I own a very small smb and have for the last five years. I took a position with an EMS company four years ago to glom on to their group insurance. Nice gig, was able to conduct my business as long as their stuff was first. That continued until February this year when previous changes in Medicare the year before, cut reimbursements to EMS by 50% and forced the company into bankruptcy. The company was purchased in a fire sale at that time by a VC management company and I was promoted to CTO for the EMS company. Epic. Fail.

-> Always get it in writing and always document everything. I have email going back to 93 ;) <-

Given a nice raise with promises of more to come, company car, actual IT budget, etc. All for selling my soul - which was not expressed to me at the time. Looked like The Opportunity from my POV. I worked my ass off for that company, my own business went to idle and dropping clients (was a 'suggestion' by CEO), put my marriage in danger for that Big Push, and screwed up my own health (dropping 60 pounds in six months). I built their website to their designer's specifications, launched it for the push, and had the cleaner polished 2.0 version on the ready rack. Right after the push, I was laid off September 30th. Ha HA.

COBRA is a mandated by the Feds supplementary health insurance for covering the gap between your previous insurance and getting new health insurance. This coverage requires $1294 a month from somebody who just got laid off. My business was in a shambles and barely making payroll. Oops. Fail. I went into the hospital for fours days and no fault found. Morphine pump was nice, I got some rest lol. But now I owe $41k to the hospital and other various bills from the specialists. And they want their money. Meanwhile I find out that the 'help from da govmint' concerning COBRA expired back in May 2009.

Nobody said life was fair.

Thing of it is, The Man ain't going to keep me down. Turns out that I can get coverage from Cigna (private healthcare insurance) for $456 a month. Interesting, no? Why the disparity in price for the same coverage? I'll leave that to the non-fat intellectuals to decipher.

I'll get everybody paid off, always have.

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WTF?

WTF?

Move along sir, I think you have the wrong department.

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Hi, Yeehaw:

I don't disagree with your opinions about gubmint's abilities to run things efficiently and on- budget, but consider that private corporations, if publically- held, have to return profits to stockholders first and foremost: if this means cutting corners on care, so be it. For all the concern (justified or not) about hypothetical government "death panels", does anyone for one minute think that such panels do not exist at HMOs or insurance companies? "Sorry, that's not covered." "OK, we'll cover it this time, but you get nothing else this year." "Regret to inform that we will not be renewing your policy, and now that you have a 'pre-existing condition', good luck finding another" Et cetera. Nothing personal, it's just business.

The big mistake, IM!HO, with Obamacare was not going with Medicare for all and cutting out the insurance industry entirely (what value do they add, exactly? If they do serve a real and useful purpose, please educate me). Yes, there would be the usual government budget leakage, but even so I think more cents per dollar would go to actual CARE and not to a pointless layer of functionaries (everyone's covered and everyone's paid so that eliminates a large amount of gatekeeper and billing overhead), plus the volume discounts a national care system (or several regional ones) could command should realize some cost savings. What emerged as the final "Obamacare" product may have some good points but I am not optimistic about what the long- term performace record will look like.

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Happy

Healthcare should be free (of charge) to all citizens.

Think about it. We (we = several world countries) already have socialized:

1) Police

2) Fire figthers

3) Armed forces

Why not public health too? It is not too expensive. Well, not when You compare it to another bills. Not when You factor in the social costs of all this mess. Not when You count, too, the business costs - not just the employee's costs, but the costs of the country too, as thousands of citizens get maimed yearly.

Yes, maimed. What happens if You don't have the money to pay for the reattachment surgery of one finger? "Oh, sorry sir. We can close the wound and treat it, but reattachment is cosmectic surgery, and this isn't covered by your policy!".

Not pretty. Wouldn't it be cheaper (I will not even ask You to consider the human side of this) just to mend the worker, and keep him working for 15 more years? How much revenue would be lost?

There's the human side too - and I think it's more important than the revenue side - but the politicians would no care about it.

By the way, I'm brazilian. We DO (well, theoretically) have a free health care. The system is in shambles, and is barely working. But it exists. It covers everything - from broken finger to cardiac surgery. It's hell to be admitted, most (public) hospitals aren't worth shit, and I am ashamed to look to it. BUT:

1) This problems are easily solved - by fighting corruption and injecting 4 or 5 R$ (Reais, brazilian currency) billions on it. Today one american dollar costs about 1,8 Real. Cheap, huh?

2) I pay for a particular insurance. It takes me to good hospitals, good doctors, and covers almost everything. Yes, cosmectic surgery is off. But not the serious (and expensive) ones - such cardiac, neuro, ortho, and so on. Did I mention that I pay for a private room and helicopter transport (iff deemed necessary)? It costs me R$ 170,00/month. Do the math. So, even if the public system is not good here, it already have lowered the private system costs to the citizen. Per se it's a win, don't You think?

Final thought: I don't know today, but circa 1979 the british health care system was amazing. My father was treated there, and it's (still) alive and well. Some friends of him got treated here or in the USA. Most of them are dead. By the same disease.

Luck? Chance? I don't know. But one thing I DO know: my father IS alive, thanks to the british socialized health care system.

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FAIL

Defeated so easily?

"IF the US Government could run anything efficiently and UNDER budget, I would support a national healthcare system - but it cannot no matter which party is in control, they all talk out their ass."

I may be missing the point, but it strikes me that in inneficiently run, overbudget national healthcare system is better than none at all? You surely have to start somewhere. To argue that "the government will not deliver a perfect system" is a bit daft, given that the system you currently have is VERY far from perfect. To give up trying for such a system just because the healthcare corps interfere to block its proper implementation seem like a tragically defeatist attitude from a country that once prided itself on its inventiveness, entrepeneurship and aspirational qualities.

Maybe if the electorate actually all got behind the idea of improving national healthcare and providing a robust national healthcare system, then you'd get started on the road to creating one? Just putting your hands up and declaring defeat at the first hurdle is so utterly, hopelessy sad, that it strikes me as another syptom of the disease that will ultimately destroy US cultural and financial dominance.

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$456 a month? And that's considered cheap!?

WTF? Being an Australian, I'm covered by Medicare (much like UK's NHS) but out of curiosity I just checked what it would cost me for private cover. Looks like full private coverage for a family of four will cost $160 to $200 per month, Australian dollars that is.

Wow. The insurance industry in America really is nothing more than a racket.

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Four stitches in his ear?

So why is he wearing such a huge bandage round his head?

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Anonymous Coward

So

So that he doesn't injure himself again while calling a cab/his missus.

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Happy

Sod the story

"Man says Droid exploded mid phone call" has got to be the best El Reg headline in years!

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Silver badge

Phone still works...

So it 'popped' and exploded something into his ear. Well, ok, maybe something got a bit warm and popped, and in a remarkable twist of unluckiness maybe it pushed out a little grille bit covering the earpiece, and maybe that scratched/cut the poor bloke's ear. Certainly somewhat unfortunate, but *the phone still works* so it's clearly not a battery dying, or anything major.

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Anonymous Coward

Google is listening...

He obviously slagged off Google, and a remote analyst at the Googleplex decided to remote wipe the user.

I, for one, welcome our Googly overlords.

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Terminator

I do not......

......he has after all still got his head. Such inefficiency.

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Grenade

Not too bright

I told him not to download that Grenade app, but does he listen to me? Noooo....

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Joke

exploded or popped?

Hate to say it, but if the phone exploded, I'd be kinda worried about my intellect if I didn't notice anything but a popping sound.

What they never report in these incidents is whether the user was at fault more than the phone - for all we know, the lump in the photo may have left the phone on a heater, or the dashboard of the car in the sun, or dropped it into his hot 'n spicy chicken bucket prior to said phone call.

He probably wasn't holding the phone properly either. Everyone knows your supposed to hold them horizontal to your palm, with the loudpspeaker on, just like they do in the apprentice, or like your grandma does.

Having said this, call me paranoid, but I always keep my phone in my bag, never in my pocket - it's all very well having your ear blown off, but I'd prefer that to having my gonads incinerated.

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Terminator

Damn those Cylons....

... they will do anything to off us humans.

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Happy

Münchausen syndrome?

Anything to get into the Media...

The only think I can think of that would cause a phone like that to fragment would be if the screen was under physical pressure and eventually had structural failure leading to fragments of glass getting ejected into his ear.

There just aren't large enough capacitors in a phone to cause an 'explosion'. So I suggest the screen was inserted into the case incorrectly or it was put into a vice or dropped?

Moto will have a field day examining that phone...

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Terminator

After this...

He will have a huge furry animal sidekick that carries his exploded droid in a backpack.

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ROTM?

I'd suggest this was an ROTM story, except in his case they wouldn't have to rise very far at all.

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