back to article 'Fry-OS 8' iPhone BLEW UP MY PANTS wails roasted Johnson

A bloke on Long Island, New York, claims an iPhone 5C exploded in his pants, putting him in hospital for 10 days with second and third-degree burns. Incredible, isn't it? Someone bought an iPhone 5C. Apple has told The Register it is investigating the pocket bomb allegation. Erik Johnson, 29, who works as an escalator and …

  1. Hey Nonny Nonny Mouse

    Shock news!

    'Apple has told The Register it is investigating the pocket bomb allegation.'

    Apple talked to El Reg!

    1. LaeMing Silver badge
      Alert

      Re: Shock news!

      Cats and dogs living together! et.al.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Don't worry!

        Apple will announce at their launch event that the iPhone 7S will only cause second degree burns when it combusts.

    2. MrDamage

      Re: Shock news!

      Don't worry. The lowly paid intern responsible for churning out the canned statements will be summarily defenestrated for their trangression.

      Apple will be back to their SOP of ignoring all El Reg requests for comment in no time.

      1. William Donelson
        Happy

        Re: Shock news!

        "Don't worry. The lowly paid intern responsible for churning out the canned statements will be summarily defenestrated for their transgression."

        I am always amazed that we have an actual word for "throwing someone out a window"...

        °͜°

        1. x 7

          Re: Shock news!

          but apple don't have any windows....

        2. PNGuinn
          Headmaster

          Re: Shock news!

          No, we don't.

          Defenestrate means to remove the window(s), glass, frames and everything.

          I suppose you could achieve that by hurling someone very hard at the assembly, but there must be less messy ways.

          Like formatting the disk and installing Linux (without systemd, please).

          -- Ducks and runs back under bridge quick --.

          Yes, I know the article is about an ithingy (TM) but I need an IT angle.

          1. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
            Headmaster

            Re: Shock news!

            Not according to my dictionary!

            defenestrate ~ verb

            1. throw through or out of the window

            The rebels stormed the palace and defenestrated the President

            1. Michael Nidd
              Headmaster

              Re: Shock news!

              There is an interesting Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defenestration

              And it was the answer to a question on University Challenge last week, so it must be right.

              1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

                Re: Shock news!

                Only in Prague, of course...

              2. Peb

                Re: Shock news!

                Is this the best use of "Defenestration"

                "The Defenestration of Ermintrude Inch" by Arthur C. Clarke

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Defenestration_of_Ermintrude_Inch

        3. Chris G Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Shock news!

          Strictly speaking, you don't! Defenestration should really translate as having your windows removed. Exfenestration would be more accurate.

          1. John Hughes

            It's French

            Defenestrate comes from the same language that brings you the verb revolveriser - to shoot someone with a revolver.

      2. Allan 1

        Re: Shock news!

        Apple and defenestration... I don't think Apple uses windows.

  2. Eddy Ito Silver badge

    Certainly looks like it's in a Spigen Tough Armor case

  3. Infernoz Bronze badge
    Facepalm

    Maybe this have something to do with the negligently ///bendable/// case.

    It is frankly idiotic carrying a mobile in a trouser pocket, for several health reasons, and the likely risk that a too mechanically deformed Lithium battery will short circuit and guarantee serious burns for many seconds because you can't remove a burning phone and can't cool it, so have to somehow eventually shed the trousers, as this man discovered the hard way!

    1. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

      Re: Maybe this have something to do with the negligently ///bendable/// case.

      "for several health reasons"

      [Citation Needed]

      Other than crappy phones exploding, I have not heard of any actual issues with carrying a phone in my pockets.

      1. MrDamage
        Joke

        Citation provided.

        If the phone is on vibrate, goes off and gives your gristle a tingle, just glancing in the general direction of a body-builders girlfriend with the resulting lump in the trouser department, has been known to be hazardous to your health.

        1. Indolent Wretch

          Re: Citation provided.

          MrDamage... is that you Brian?

          1. MrDamage

            Re: Citation provided.

            Yes, I'm Brian. And so is my wife.

            1. Sarah Balfour

              Re: Citation provided.

              I have absolutely NO IDEA why you didn't get an upvote for that. So I gave you one.

    2. fruitoftheloon
      WTF?

      @Infernoz: Re: Maybe this have something to do with the negligently ///bendable/// case.

      Infernoz,

      Do you know something that very few people around the globe know about?

      Bearing in mind the thankfully minimal amounts of phone-in-pocket mini conflagrations that have occured (out of several hundred-million or so POTENTIAL) events, it is not that likely eh?

      Ooi before a career change I was a Risk Consultant on big infrastructure projects, hence I have a bit of knowledge about probability.

      FYI I cycled through central London everyday...

      Also where would you suggest I carried my phone whilst out and about?

      Cheers,

      J.

    3. Malcolm 1

      Re: Maybe this have something to do with the negligently ///bendable/// case.

      This was an iPhone 5C - the bendable one was the iPhone 6

  4. x 7

    I had a phone battery short circuit in my pocket years ago. I was in the line for the tills at W H Smiths, arms full of comics and I had to run outside with the security guards chasing me....

    Got outside, ripped the battery out of the phone and it stopped heating up, panic over. Still left me with a minor burn to the leg. Happily the security chaps didn't try to stop or arrest me

    However the big question is.....what if the battery had been permanently fixed in the phone? No way of removing it and so breaking the short circuit. So it would just have heated until igniting. Not too great a problem in a shop in a busy town centre......but on a train? or an aircraft? Not a nice thought.

    The phone itself was a Motorola, I sent it to their contract service centre - who reckoned it had got wet. I met the MD of the service company at a training meeting a few weeks later and gave him hell - that phone had never been anywhere near water

    1. ukgnome
      Trollface

      cool story bro.

      I suspect your phone pocket was all moist because of the armfuls of comics.

  5. asdf Silver badge

    we are spoiled

    I don't think most people know just how nasty lithium ion batteries can be regardless of the supplier. A true testament to modern engineering and material science or whatever.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: we are spoiled

      >I don't think most people know just how nasty lithium ion batteries can be regardless of the supplier.

      I think many have very short memories and don't remember the Boeing 787 Dreamliner Lithium ion battery 'thermal events' ...

      1. asdf Silver badge

        Re: we are spoiled

        Unless Justin Bieber was on board then a significant amount of the US public wouldn't have heard about it in the first place.

  6. DNTP

    Apple press release headline:

    "IPhone 5C gets local man HOT and PANTSLESS in seconds on Valentine's Day"

  7. Mark 85 Silver badge
    Coat

    So Johnson got his Johnson toasted?

    I'm going, it's after beer-o-clock here.

    1. thomas k.

      Doubly unfortunate ...

      to be saddled with that surname in this situation.

  8. thomas k.
    Thumb Up

    Two words

    Holster cases.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Two words

      Alternative two words: Builder trousers. Mine got a grand total of 6 pockets each with the ones on the thigh perfect for a phone - you can never bend it in one of those. You can also easily extract it from there in an emergency.

      Yeah, I know - not fashionable.

      You need to wear early 1980-es style elasticated jeans nowdays to be kewl - the type we had in secondary school. Also stick the phone in the front pocket to ensure that the elasticated pants keep it in the correct position so it bends. Once again - it is key to kewlness. And key to idiocy too.

      1. james 68

        Re: Two words

        What trendy fashion whores will go through for the latest 'hot' new thing.

        I'll get my coat now.

      2. Sarah Balfour

        Re: Two words

        Not me. In secondary school I was forced to wear a kilt - Black Watch in Forms 1-5, Stewart in the Lower and Upper 6th. The rest of the uniform is FAR too hideous to mention, it involved a great deal of navy. And brown. And tan. And beige.

        We were also,forced to wear thick felt blazers in the summer, and thin polycotton macs in the winter. Both navy.

        Nuns are sadists.

  9. Bobber

    Who are Cook & Co and why will they be sued?

    1. Gray
      Windows

      Re: who are Cook & Co?

      That would be Timmy & the Apple Fritters

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: who are Cook & Co?

        They're the Legal side of the family of Big Cook, Little Cook from CBeebies

    2. Otto is a bear.

      Cook & Co.

      Kitchens from B&Q I thought. (UK's answer to Home Depot)

  10. FunkyEric

    Apples response....

    He was holding it wrong.....

  11. Anonymous Coward
  12. g e

    "instead of putting it in my pocket, I put it in the seat next to me"

    So, despite having one put him in hospital and being frightened of them, he still bought another one? (Or got it on insurance).

    Not sure whether that says more about the apple demographic or the brand power.

    1. Elmer Phud

      Re: "instead of putting it in my pocket, I put it in the seat next to me"

      "Not sure whether that says more about the apple demographic "

      Fibber -- you know damned well that an iDIOT and his phone can never be parted.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "instead of putting it in my pocket, I put it in the seat next to me"

      "So, despite having one put him in hospital and being frightened of them, he still bought another one?"

      No, Mr Johnson didn't say that thing about putting it on the seat. His lawyer (Mr Della) did.

      Johnson apparently has no plans to buy another phone.

      1. Otto is a bear.

        Re: "instead of putting it in my pocket, I put it in the seat next to me"

        Ans S*d the person sitting there. Mind you, a burning phone would do a lot of damage to your car seat, god knows what fumes they might produce before you noticed.

  13. cyber7
    Flame

    Lithium-ion Batteries can & WILL become volatile in extreme conditions

    I bet you money he didn't just drop his keys, but the phone too...and put it in his pocket after fetching it. The Li-ion batteries can be sensitive to shock.

    Google : "A Lesson In Lithium-Ion Volatility -- Don't Try This at Home"

    We seem to forget the energy density in these new batteries is very significant. I'm an avid model aircraft flier and the move to Li-Po battery packs for electric planes has offered me two instances of the battery pack going 'thermonuclear'.

    Once, in a rapid charging station undergoing a typical cycle, after the pack had fallen 3-4 ft to concrete. The pack blew up like a balloon, developed a blister that rapidly burst into flames jetting out. The other instance was after a crash of an F18, where there was a sudden pop about half a minute after it hit the field. A flame bust up about a foot off the ground with a nasty hiss. What was left of the canopy was a fused mess of EDF plastic.

  14. Cheesenough
    Devil

    Altruistic Lawyer

    Lawyer reported as saying,

    "First and foremost, we have to find out how this happened and prevent it from happening ever again," he said. "That's the whole goal here. Is the product safe?"

    Yes, and the best way of achieving that goal is for Apple to award my client thousands of dollars in compensation so that he can pay for the legal advice.

  15. Montague Wanktrollop

    ......

    Better call Saul.....

  16. Andy Taylor

    It's incredibly rare

    In four years at the Genius Bar I must have seen fewer than 5 "hot battery" incidents which had led to smoke and/or flames. In most of the cases, the phone had previously got wet.

    There were a fair number of expanded batteries in both phones and MacBooks, but this was usually down to the battery reaching the end of its useful life.

    1. fruitoftheloon
      Happy

      @Andy Taylor: Re: It's incredibly rare

      Andy,

      On a smilar note, the battery life of my well looked after Note II was steadily deteriorating, on returning it to the EE (nothing nowhere) shop I was a little surprised to be told that my 17 month old phone only had a guarantee of 6 months on the battery.

      After I got a bit arsey and reminded them about relevant bits of our statute book, a helpful EE chap spotted that the battery was bulging, hence he said it would probably not be a problem re a replacement.

      Apparently it is not uncommon for certain Samsung devices.

      Cheers,

      Jay

    2. returnmyjedi

      Re: It's incredibly rare

      "There were a fair number of expanded batteries in both phones and MacBooks, but this was usually down to the battery reaching the end of its useful life."

      Doesn't this suggest that handsets shouldn't be designed with sealed in batteries? Or at least integrate some kind of give in the seals or casing of the phone to accommodate this "usual" swelling behaviour.

      1. Shovel

        Re: It's incredibly rare

        Battery expansion is not rare. i saw plenty of it with early USB chargers. I never found out if it was an issue of the chemistry, or bad charger design. I had 3 pocket USB chargers expand while simply being stored in a drawer. They were not all the same brand, but were purchased from retailers who carry 'reconditioned' products.

        1. x 7

          Re: It's incredibly rare

          reconditioned batteries......about as safe or sensible as buying reconditioned tyres

  17. Chris G Silver badge

    Moist

    So Li-po powered sex aids are probably a no no then?

    1. fruitoftheloon
      Joke

      @Chris G: Re: Moist

      Chris,

      I suppose that depends on how hot you want it to be...

      J.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Chris G: Moist

        The battery expansion is a useful feature in that case

      2. Sarah Balfour

        Re: @Chris G: Moist

        Can we stop.using 'moist'…? I have a severe aversion to it; 'damp', 'sightly wet', anything but the 'M-word'. I feel slightly, erm, 'M-my' myself now…

        I've not been able to read Discworld since 'Making Money'…

        1. x 7

          Re: @Chris G: Moist

          what would you prefer we use? Sweat? Perspiration?

          Personally I've always found modestly moist women stimulatingly attractive

  18. Alan Denman

    re It is frankly idiotic carrying a mobile in a trouser pocket

    'You're carrying it wrong'

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    NEWSFLASH! Man cremated on his way to a wake.

    Holy smokes!

  20. Shane Sturrock

    Not a 5C in the picture

    The phone pictured is clearly a black 5, not a 5C. You can see the black metal chamfered edge which the 5C doesn't have, and you can't get a 5C with a black back. Based on that, this is an older phone so who knows how much mistreatment it has had and it may not even be on the original battery.

    1. cyber7

      Re: Not a 5C in the picture

      I don't think so. The 5C anodized black edge is chamfered. However, I'd bet $ that he dropped it along with his keys.

      You really don't want to abuse these batteries. A guy fell off a cart and bent his iPhone 6, with very similar results. Google "iPhone-6-user-left-second-degree-burns-new-device-bent-burst-flames"

  21. x 7

    Black 5?

    So William Stanier has been reincarnated and is designing for Apple? How about a steam-punk coal-fired iMac?

  22. Shovel

    Johnson burned, was his Johnson burned?

    "it didn't even warm up; it just went straight to burn."

    Would that be a Johnson Wax?

    Will the lawsuit be from Johnson and Johnson?

  23. PaulR79

    Lawyer with morals!

    "First and foremost, we have to find out how this happened and prevent it from happening ever again," he said. "That's the whole goal here. Is the product safe?"

    How refreshing! A lawyer that is only interested in preventing other people from suffering burn injuries at the hands of an iPhone. I assume he won't be seeking any money for his client and only assurances that it won't happen again. Such a nice lawyer, so kind and full of goodness.

    1. cyber7
      Facepalm

      Re: Lawyer with morals!

      "...and prevent it from happening ever again," he said.

      From an engineering stand point this NOT possible. There is always a very small chance of something unforeseeable occurring. Even if current interrupt devices were added to the LIPO pack design.

      From a user standpoint it is quite preventable. Do not put a device in body orifices, or difficult to access pockets that is subject to physical abuse, which contains an energy device known to fail under shock, & punctures which delaminate the energy cell, not to mention catastrophic failure when short circuited, particularly by fluids.

  24. Conundrum1885 Bronze badge

    Could have been

    Tiny glass fragment that pierced the battery, won't always show up when the original (possibly very minor) damage occurred.

    If it got between battery and glass case over time might have pierced the outer casing and caused S/C.

  25. Mark2

    Li Ion batteries burn because of mechanical or electrical damage, or mfg defects

    Lithium-Polymer batteries burn because of mechanical damage, such as being bent or punctured; electrical damage such as bad chargers (such as cheap copies); or manufacturing defects such as bad manufacturers (non-original replacement batteries for example) or bad processes or bad design or rarely undetected quality problems (often followed by recalls).

  26. Catlover

    Guests left an i-phone in my home about a year ago. They did not collect it and I just left it in my office. Recently looked at it and had all swollen up and distorted. Took the back off and the inside all cracked. It had not been near water and had not been used for over a year.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019