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iPhone 4 bursts into flames, burns hand!
07-10-2010, 02:48 PM (This post was last modified: 07-10-2010 02:59 PM by chadrey.)
Post: #1
iPhone 4's USB port catches fire, burns user's hand

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Fri Jul 9, 10:32 am ET

We've seen cases of iPhones spontaneously exploding or bursting into flames before. Now it looks like we've got our first case of a sizzling-hot iPhone 4.

Autopsy photos of the irreparably damaged iPhone ended up Read More after the owner — with a slightly singed hand, apparently — brought the charbroiled handset back to an AT&T store for a well-deserved replacement.

The culprit? Well, there's always the lithium ion battery, often the cause of portable gadgets bursting into flame. But Boy Genius' mole at AT&T points the finger at a faulty USB port that overheated when the iPhone was hooked up to a computer.

The USB port got so hot that it melted the plug on the iPhone's connector cord and turned the handset's glossy black bezel into a griddle, "slightly" burning the hand of its unfortunate owner, Boy Genius reports.

No word yet from Apple on the red-hot iPhone 4, and so far, no reports of other new iPhones burning, exploding or otherwise combusting.

Are we talking an epidemic of new iPhone "death grip" problems of a more dangerous variety? Let's all take a deep breath. We've got only a single case of a flaming iPhone 4 on our hands, one out of a couple million new iPhones sold.

But we have seen isolated incidents of other, older iPhone models bursting into flame or exploding, such as a handful of Read More last year that led to an investigation by EU authorities. Others complained last summer of new iPhone 3GS handsets that Read More.

Even a few iPod owners have felt the heat. Just last year, South Korea demanded that Apple Read More after four reported cases of Nano batteries overheating and melting. Apple agreed to replace any damaged iPods but reportedly resisted calling it a "recall."

What's the best way to avoid being burned by a flaming iPhone — or any portable gadget, for that matter? As usual, it's all about common sense. If your mobile gear starts to get unusually hot, especially when charging, unplug and turn everything off immediately. And don't keep it to yourself: Call the manufacturer and report the problem, and see if you need a replacement battery and/or gadget.

• Boy Genius Report: Read More

— Ben Patterson is a technology writer for Yahoo! News.

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