Smoking iPhone Just the Latest Handset to Catch Fire

Next time you rush to the store to get your hands on the latest mind-blowing gadget, think twice: Your mind could be literally blown. As the latest blemish on cellphone safety, an iPhone 4 went up in smoke after spontaneously combusting aboard an Australian flight headed from Lismore to Sydney on Friday.

The phone, which belonged to a passenger on the Regional Express plane, began glowing red and emitted a thick smoke as the plane touched down in Sydney, according to ABC. After the phone was extinguished, it was handed over to authorities to investigate. Nobody was harmed, according to a statement by Regional Express.

The incident isn’t Apple’s first encounter with incendiary stories of malfunctioning products. While the company has largely ignored cases in the past, its phones and music players were the subject of an August 2009 review by the European Commission after French and English devices began exploding. One individual even claimed that Apple tried to keep him quiet.

Apple’s devices aren’t the only ones to light up controversy though – here’s a quick rundown of a few mentionable explosions:

  • November 2011: Australian aviation authorities launch investigation into red-hot smoke engulfing a phone inside a Regional Express plane, taking the phone “into custody.”
  • November 2011: Apple recalls iPod Nanos sold throughout 2005-2006 that have batteries that could potentially overheat and cause a safety risk.
  • December 2010: Droid 2 explodes mid-use in a 30-year old Texan Aron Embry’s hands, sending him to the ER room. Good news is the phone was still making calls post-explosion.
  • August 2009: The European Commission says it will examine phones to make sure they’re not dangerous after a serious of European explosions causes concern for cell owners.
  • November 2007: Something goes bang in the night. In New Zealand, a Nokia-made phone erupts in the middle of the night while charging, awakening its owner to the sight of spewed phone-guts (battery) smeared across the floor.
  • July 2007: China fears that phones may open up a new bag of worms with substandard products that prove to be dangerous. The announcement by Chinese regulators said Motorola and Nokia devices failed safety tests.
  • July 2004: A 16-year old girl in Ontario suffers second-degree burns after an unnamed cell phone caught fire in her back pocket. Luckily she was in the kitchen and got a dose of water on the behind before the fireworks got worse
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