updated 11:50 pm EDT, Thu July 30, 2009
iPhone 3G catches fire?
An iPhone 3G in Europe has reportedly caught fire while sitting on the passenger seat of a person's car, according to iPhoneclub.nl. The owner of the iPhone Pieter, a man living in the Dutch city of Leiden, reportedly returned to his car after leaving it unattended for a few minutes and discovered that his iPhone had caught on fire and completely destroyed his passenger's seat. When he left the iPhone it was sitting inside a Belkin hard-case where it had gone into standby mode and was not connected to a car charger.
After the incident occurred Pieter contacted both Apple, and the exclusive iPhone carrier in the Netherlands T-Mobile, but both companies have refused to take responsibility over the device catching fire.
This is only one of the many times an Apple mobile device has been reported to have caught on fire. After an incident in November 2008 that resulted in a burn caused by an iPod shuffle, a company by the name of KIRO 7 began an investigation which discovered over 800 pages covering 15 different fires spanning from 2005 to 2008. In those cases Apple seemed to take the same approach by allegedly feigning ignorance when contacted by customers.
In some cases however incidents have resulted in possible lawsuits towards Apple, one of them taking place in March of 2009 where a mother attempted to sue Apple after an iPod touch apparently caught fire in her 15-year-old sons pants pocket, scorching his leg and causing physical and mental distress. Additional cases range all the way to Japan, where in August of last year a pair of iPod nanos overheated resulting in a burned up straw mat and paper, which also surrounded another incident from March of the same year where an iPod nano began erupting in sparks.
In order to deal with some these situations Apple has both published patents to address physical problems inherited in the batteries in electronic devices, as well as provided a set of guidelines for the iPhone and iPhone 3GS, to help prevent users from overheating their mobile devices. The recently added guidelines deliver information on what temperatures the handsets should be operated in, and includes a warning message that will pop up if the iPhone is going to overheat.