iPhone Explosion Ignites Customer Rage In China

2 min read

While the turmoil surrounding Samsung’s exploding phones has yet to settle down, the Chinese Internet is again ablaze (pun-intended!) with rage as customers complain after a series of iPhone explosions.

The incident first caught public attention after China’s state media reported the explosion of an iPhone6 Plus on August 31st this year in Zhejiang Province. The owner, identified as a Ms. Chen, says that her phone exploded while she was in the car with her family. She reports that the phone began to “puff up” and emit smoke. She was able to quickly kick the phone out of the car before any damage could be caused.

Apple offered Ms. Chen a new smartphone, but did not give any explanation.

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Image from Ms. Chen (via Xinhua)

A similar case happened with Ms. Liu from Jiangsu Province.

“While I was charging my iPhone 6 Plus with the original charger, the rear cover of the phone cracked and melted together with the chair. They nearly caught on fire.” she said to local media.

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Image from Ms. Liu (via Xinhua)

These incidents are not the first case, nor would they be the last, of spontaneous iPhone combustion. In the three-months period ending on Nov. 30th, the Shanghai Consumer Council has received complaints from eight customers who reported their phones igniting, even while charging properly.

Apple’s hard-earned reputation on quality products is in danger as more and more concerns is raised about iPhones. Data from Shanghai Consumer Council shows that the number of complaints addressing Apple surged to 2,763 since the beginning of this year, nearly doubling from the same period last year. In addition, the complaints were mainly focused unusual shutdown iPhone 6 series smartphones.

For a growing numbers of iPhone 6s devices with shutdown problems, Apple has announced a free repair program. This applies to devices that were manufactured between September and October 2015; the company citied battery over-exposure to ambient air during the manufacturing process as the reason for the unexpected shutdowns. However, the company has refused to acknowledge this is as a safety issue.

The news comes when Apple is losing ground to domestic smartphone makers, like Oppo, Huawei, Xiaomi, and Vivo. Although the global smartphone maker is quickly being eclipsed by local competitors in terms of market share, it still holds a top place in the high-end market for quality products and services.

However, the current complaints have led Chinese customers to start doubting whether the phones are worth their high-price. If Apple fails to offer a plan that the public feels comfortable with in a timely manner, like Samsung did, it could be damaging to the global conglomerate.

Image Credit: Shutterstock