It's beginning to look a lot like the latest smartphone trend is spontaneous combustion. While some smartphone vendors are probably crossing their fingers hoping that these problems exist with only Samsung's Galaxy Note 7, there have been a couple of non-Samsung exceptions slipping out over the past month or so as well.
At the end of last month, we reported on an iPhone 7 that somehow burned up inside the box, before it even made its way to the customer. We're not sure where that story ultimately went, but there's now another report that might cast a little doubt on just how safe this latest round of smartphones are.
While taking a surfing lesson, Australian Mat Jones put his brand-new iPhone 7 underneath some clothing inside of his car, safe and sound. Or, so he thought. Upon returning to his vehicle, it was filled with smoke, and the source was undeniably the iPhone 7. Not only was the phone destroyed, but his car was torched as well.
All smartphones using Lithium-ion batteries have the capability of exploding or catching fire, due to their internal chemical makeup, but under normal circumstances and operating conditions this should never be an issue. Generally, a phone would need to be pierced with great force to cause an explosion like this, something that obviously didn't happen in the case of this gentleman's phone while it sat safely under some clothing. Extreme heat can be one contributor to a catastrophic event like this, but that again seems an unlikely cause as temperatures are quite reasonable right now at the South Coast of Australia - about 20°C (68°F) on average.
As it stands right now, there is no confirmation of what happened, but Apple is fortunately on the case. It's important to note that even if a couple of smartphones have had issues, there have been millions upon millions sold, so the chances of you running into a problem like this are lottery type odds. However, we can all likely agree that it shouldn't ever happen, because if it can under normal conditions, there's an intrinsic problem that should absolutely be addressed, as these phones get more powerful and more compact.