Apple investigating smoldering iPhone 7 Plus after video of smoking handset goes viral

“A new video has emerged on Twitter which shows an iPhone 7 appearing to melt and smoke in its case,” Shivali Best reports for The Daily Mail.

“Apple has been informed of the video, and said that it is ‘looking into’ the issue,” Best reports. “The footage was posted on Twitter by Brianna Olivas, from Arizona… In the video, a rose gold iPhone appears to be melting, producing plumes of smoke.”

“Ms Olivas said her iPhone was having problems turning on, so she left it and went to sleep,” Best reports. “But when she woke up, her iPhone had set itself alight, and began to melt.”

Caution: Language NSFW (depending on where you work):

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The estimated failure rate of lithium ion rechargeable battery cells is less than 1 in 10 million with some estimates of failures of 1 in 40 million cells.

At 1 per 10 million, with Apple having sold 78.29 million iPhones last quarter alone, we expect at least six more “viral videos” that will be conflated to Samsung-level failure by the world’s depressingly copious, ever-growing supply of utter morons.

Interns: TTK!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz,” “Swordmaker,” and “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]


    1. The phone in question is in a plastic case. The plastic case is melting, the aluminum housing is not melting. The aluminum housing is discolored by the melting case, but can be seen if you look closely.

    2. It’s not the aluminum that is melting. There’s gold plastic case surrounding the iPhone in question. That is what is melting, or actually softening and flowing a bit. Look carefully at some of the other images available for this and you will see the aluminum case under the plastic case.

  1. Here are a couple further articles on the situation:

    Apple to investigate iPhone 7 that ‘blew up’

    Apple looking into video of exploding iPhone 7 Plus
    Apparent battery fire of rose gold iPhone 7 Plus prompts investigation following Samsung Galaxy Note 7 fears

    From the Mashable article:

    Amateur Twitter sleuths are even already attempting to diagnose what went wrong (one running theory is that Olivas’ liquid-filled iPhone case somehow contributed to the issue, though there’s no evidence to back that up.) . . . .

    “The next morning I was asleep with my phone charging next to my head, my boyfriend grabbed the phone and put it on the dresser,” she said via a direct message on Twitter. “He went the the [sic] restroom … and from the corner of his eye he saw my phone steaming and [heard] a squealing noise. By the time he got over to the phone it had already caught fire, he quickly grabbed the phone and threw it in the restroom … as soon as he threw it in the restroom is [sic] blew up and more smoke started coming out of the phone.” . . . .

    Olivas says she has since turned the phone over to Apple. Reps have told her they are conducting tests and expect to know more within a week. For its part, an Apple spokesperson says the company is aware of the video. “We are in touch with the customer and looking into it.”

    Watching the Twitter video, the phone is visibly smoking and melting, with suitable ‘wtf’ comments from the owner.

    If you scroll through the twitter thread, the most amusing aspect of the trash talk is the number of ‘Me Too’ posts from people fanning the flames (so to speak). Sheesh. (o_O)

    Apple, meanwhile, tweeted back repeatedly with polite concern and requests to DM (direct message) with the owner about the situation. 🙂

    1. The Guardian pointed out the only other similar incidence, from October, 2016:

      iPhone 7 being investigated after surfer claims it set his car on fire
      Australian man says the iPhone ‘melted’ and destroyed his car while he was on the beach, as lithium-ion batteries under scrutiny amid major Samsung recall

      Several other companies, including Hewlett Packard, Tesla and the makers of so-called “hoverboards”, have also experienced problems with their lithium-ion batteries, though the vast majority work without problem.

      1. Lithium is an extremely combustible metal. The answer to all of this lies in some combination of the following:

        a) Thicker phones-More tolerance on battery space-Less physical Battery Damage.
        b) Replaceable Batteries-Allows early detection of swelling or damage-Easy to replace/recycle.
        c) a + b

        1. Let me see if I can find David Pogue’s recent PBS Nova episode about lithium batteries. It was excellent, although the title of the program was obtuse…. Ah! Here we go:

          Search for the Super Battery

          The title should have been something like ‘Search for the Super Lithium Battery’ as Pogue left out other power storage, battery, alternatives such as hydrogen fuel cells.

          I liked the program because it builds to the point where Pogue demonstrates incredibly promising new Lithium battery technology that we should have on the market right this very minute! 😀

  2. Fake news at its finest. Brianna Olivas has been outed as a known Youtube hoaxer who used special effects to create this video.

    She has been exposed here:

    1. Omg. Shocking!! She should be ashamed. Rolling in her future grave for such a grave p!sstake on a serious situation!

      Honestly, some people these days. What is it with them???!!!

        1. I saw the link! I watched it in full! Brianna should be ashamed of her role in this scam. She will one day be rolling in her grave! Her rickety snickety scam sucks! She is a cancer on civility and should be made to use a Note 7 for her crimes. Honestly!!!!

  3. I’m curious if the phone is carried in her back pocket. It’s always seemed to me that the constant flexing while being in a back pocket and sitting and standing could fatigue the case and battery. Also, was it an Apple charger or an imposter?

  4. I had an iPhone 6 case separate by battery expansion. Took to Apple Store and they replaced the unit. A couple of months later, my significant other also experienced the same thing on her iPhone 6.

    Apple replaced both units at no cost.
    These reports on the iPhone 7 seem like same problem, maybe a little earlier in the lifecycle.

    Not good, but not the end of the world either.

    No flame, no foul?

  5. The girl with this phone goes by the name @Briana_Lee_xx, a prostitute and porno actress from Denver. Her “boyfriend” is her longtime pimp and driver.

    She’s been a self-promoter extraordinare before, so this all smells pretty stinky.

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