More than four months ago Jarrod McKinney’s jaw almost drops from the sky, when he discovered later that his iPhone still works after the gadget survived a fall from 13,500 feet. Apparently while he was skydiving, the iPhone slipped out of his pocket because he had forgotten to zip up his skydiving pants. McKinney later used his GPS app to find his phone, sitting on top of a two-story building nearly a kilometre from where he had landed – with its glass completely shattered. He didn’t expect the phone to work anymore but he tried calling it anyway and amazingly the iPhone vibrated.
While there’s a proven case that iPhone 4 survives 13,000 foot fall, there’s not a single case (was there?) that tells of a story that the phone can survives a combustion. Silly me, do you expect a self-combusted phone to be still working, never mind whether it’s an Apple Inc.’s (Nasdaq: AAPL, stock) iPhone or Android phone? Well, I supposed we may know the answer if this passenger who was taking Australian flight Regional Express ZL319 from Lismore to Sydney care to try calling his just-combusted iPhone.
The story – a male flight attendant on Flight ZL319 who was seated facing the passengers as the flight landed saw one passenger fretting in his seat and furiously patting his trouser packet. On seeing dense smoke, the attendant shouted at the passenger to throw out whatever he had in his pocket. The object making him uncomfortable turned out to be his iPhone 4 which by now was ‘glowing red’. Flight attendants sprayed several shots from a fire extinguisher before the red glow and the smoking stopped.
Fortunately no one was injured and the matter has been reported to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) as well as the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) for investigation. The iPhone 4 of which the back had melted and been pushed outward by the heat was handed over to ATSB’s officials and it is believed that the airline have called in local representatives of Apple and reported the incident to them and shown them pictures (taken by the flight’s supervisor) of the wrecked device.
This case is perhaps the first time an Apple smartphone has overheated and caught fire, although there was a case back in Jul 2010 about an iPhone 4 that burst into flames and burnt the hand of a customer. In that particular case, the brand new iPhone 4 caught on fire while being hooked up to a computer using the Apple USB cable – the USB port in the phone was slightly melted and the cord was badly melted in the process. An Apple Store later confirmed it was due to a defective USB port but couldn’t offer a replacement because it was out of stock.
Nevertheless, this latest little fiasco somehow invites some interesting speculations as to what could possibly turn the sexy iPhone into a time-bomb. One such speculation was that the exploded iPhone 4 has been modified, judging from the infamous Apple logo at the back of the phone. In what appears to be Steve Jobs Apple logo (really?) on the burnt iPhone, the owner was accused of damaging something during the modification process that it didn’t allow sufficient heat dissipation hence the mini explosion.
Of course, many die-hard fans swear it was not Steve Jobs Apple logo but a distortion of the image due to cracked glass panel, water drops and whatnot. Hey, maybe this passenger’s iPhone 4 was a fake, got it from fake China Apple Store or somehow Steve Jobs was so angry with how the latest iOS 5.0.1 still draining the battery that the heat from his anger actually burnt the poor passenger’s pants (*grin*). What do ya think?
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