Issues with batteries inside smartphones and other tech devices that pose a fire hazard are nothing new. Samsung has had problems with its flagship Galaxy Note 7 device catching fire; Apple has been associated with battery fires also, most recently with the 2015 MacBook Pro. Budget smartphone maker OnePlus has been called out in India for a smartphone that allegedly caught fire while it was sitting unplugged and turned off.
The owner of the smartphone claims that it caught fire at about 3:15 am on July 3 as it sat unused. The smartphone is said to have been sitting in an air-conditioned room when the user woke up to a burning smell. The user alleges that fumes were pouring out of the device, and the fire was put out with water.
Someone I know just got saved from fatality. @OnePlus_IN @oneplus how do you explain your phone exploding out of the blue???! Kids use your phone as it’s attractively priced. Where is the responsibility to fix this? pic.twitter.com/CRgmF6RTBB— Chaiti Narula (@Chaiti) July 3, 2019
Reports of the OnePlus smartphone catching fire spread via India Today anchor Chaiti Narula via Twitter; the tweet can be seen above. Narula called on OnePlus to explain the issue with the device and asked what it planned to do to fix the problem as kids use its smartphones due to the low price.
OnePlus responded to the tweet by Narula and said that its "Critical escalations" team had already reached out to the owner of the smartphone and were working to resolve the issue. The response to Narula's original tweet came after she tweeted later than OnePlus had offered no response.
It remains unclear what exactly caused the fire; the assumption would be some sort of battery flaw that led to overheating and eventually fire. Such a series of events is far from uncommon in the smartphone realm. The risk of fire prevented the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 from being carried on many commercial flights. In that case, Samsung said irregularly sized batteries were the cause of fires.