Terrance Heath

Have You Heard the One About the Exploding Cell Phone?

Filed By Terrance Heath | December 11, 2010 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Gay Geeks, Living
Tags: Blackberry, iPhone

No. Seriously. A guy’s Motorola Droid exploded, right next to his ear.

To be fair, it’s not just the Droid.

There are stories of exploding iPhones, exploding Blackberrys, and probably other smartphones.

What surprised me was the last few paragraphs of the story, about fatal smartphone explosions.

Just a few months ago, a 23-year-old man died after his phone exploded in North India.

Most reports of exploding phones happen when they are in charging mode, which was the case in China. The phone of a 27-year-old housewife exploded while she was talking to her husband as the phone was being charged. She too was killed.

There was another incident reported in Wyoming a few years ago. A 19-year-old co-ed suffered second to third-degree burns while sleeping. Her phone had been charging near her when it caught fire. She was injured while trying to extinguish the fire.

It was in direct response to the Wyoming case that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued warnings for cell phone users. Among tips released by the CPSC were making sure your cell phone is compatible with your battery. Also, it warned users to keep batteries away from metal objects while phones are not in use. Phones should also be kept away from liquids and users should be careful that they do not overheat.

Well, who knew that?! I usually unplug my phone from the charger before answering or making a call. Not because I even knew about the exploding issue, but because I tend to walk around when I’m talking on the phone. (I’m giving away my age, but in the days before cordless phones, I had to have as long a cord as I could get.) Now I’ll make sure that I always do.


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This is good to know, altho: I've gone round-and-round with AT&T over my i4, which has more problems than it should. I was investigating other carriers and phones.

Droid was a solid choice if you read the consumer reviews. I guess they should've dialed in the ER factor. That makes it a no-go for me.

Seriously, I love the capabilities of the i4, but the keyboard is too sensitive. I put people on hold, cut them off, mute, etc., without doing a thing. Kinda defeats the purpose.

All my AT&T trouble calls have gone via India, and while I try not to be Xenophobic, let's just say they don't have any answers.

Motorola looked into it and called bullshit. They say he dropped it, didn't notice that it was broken, and then put it up to his ear.

Irony alert:
This article in my feed was just above an ad for the Google Nexus, their Droid...

Actually, all batteries store electrical energy in a chemical form. All batteries are subject to catastrophic discharge, also known as 'exploding'. All are designed to vent hazardous gases to prevent fires and explosions and the vast majority work fine with no issues.
If it's a lithium battery, DON'T get it wet. When I was in the Navy we had to dump a 5 pound lithium battery overboard, made a really nice depth charge. Pissed off the Sonar Techs sum thin freice!
A Ni-Cad sub-C cell battery has the equivlent of a half stick of dynamite of energy. I reckon a smart phone has about half the power of an M-80.