August 4, 2013
Galaxy S4 Tries To Leave China, Takes Owner’s House With It
Sure, a rogue iPhone 5 may have electrocuted and killed a 23-year old Chinese woman, but at least it didn’t start a fire in Hong Kong and displace a couple and their dogs.
Yeah, I guess the one is kind of worse than the other.
According to some translated reports from some Chinese websites, a man known as “Mr. Du” was charging his Samsung Galaxy S4 with a legitimate, Samsung-branded charger when the thing suddenly exploded.
Because things we do in the heat of the moment (see what I did there) rarely make sense, Mr. Du chunked his flaming phone at his couch and the rest likely played out like a bad sitcom. The couch became engulfed in flames, which in turn lit the curtains on fire, which then spread to the rest of the house and even damaged his Mercedes Benz parked in front of their house. Samsung said they’d investigate the situation to determine if there’s anything they need to do to prevent the same thing from happening to someone else.
Ever notice how this kind of thing only happens in China? Do the phones hate the country so much they’re willing to die and take their owners with them in a blaze of glory?
That’s entirely unfair, of course, and wholly inappropriate.
Instances of batteries exploding are unfortunately common and occur all over the world. When you have a popular device with millions of units out in the wild, this kind of thing is bound to happen, statistically speaking.
Let’s take a brief look at some of the more recent episodes, shall we?
There’s the one where a Galaxy SIII exploded as its owner was asleep in bed several weeks ago. According to the owner, known only by his Reddit name “vizionx1208,” he heard a loud noise and a “squeaking sound” one hour after he plugged in his phone for the night. He awoke to a room full of smoke and that familiar acrid smell of burning electronics and saw that his bed was catching fire. He reached for a conveniently placed glass of aqua frio and doused the phone to extinguish the flames.
In 2011, two iPhones reportedly exploded in less than a week, one whilst in mid-flight over Australia and another while in bed with its owner. No one was injured in either instance, fortunately.
Then there’s the one where the iPhone 4S reportedly caught fire while in a teenager’s back pocket. I say “reportedly” because the whole thing seems completely dubious. First, the only evidence we have is a shaky and blurry surveillance video of the Finnish boy getting out of a van, noticing smoke from his rear, then doing a little dance and throwing something to the ground. Additionally, some light research showed that the video was uploaded months before the alleged boy in the video said the incident occurred.
In fact, these explosion issues are so common, one person tried to fake an explosion, for what reason no one knows. After posting pictures of the supposed exploded devices and a story about how it came to detonate, it was discovered they had microwaved the device to make it appear as if the device had exploded.
Cheeky, that one.
Image Credit: MarijaPiliponyte / Shutterstock