Apple is investigating claims that an iPhone 7 Plus “blew up” due to battery issues, following the posting of a video and photos of the destroyed smartphone on Twitter.
The video of the rose gold iPhone 7 Plus, owned by Brianna Olivas, 18, from Tuscon, Arizona, shows the phone’s back deformed by a swollen battery and smoke flowing out of a crack in the side where the screen has come away from the casing.
Olivas later posted photos showing the burnt back of the phone and split body after the battery had stopped smoking.
The 21-second video shot by Olivas’s boyfriend has been retweeted over 23,000 times, liked over 24,000 times and reportedly watched over 1.2m times.
An Apple spokesperson told Mashable: “We are in touch with the customer and looking into it.”
Olivas said that she had visited an Apple store the day before the phone self-combusted complaining that her iPhone 7 Plus would not turn on. Apple’s technicians looked at the phone and told her everything was fine after the iPhone 7 Plus appeared to begin to work correctly again.
The incident occurred the next day while the phone was charging next to her head while Olivas slept.
The high capacity lithium ion batteries contained within smartphones were thrown into the spotlight by the ill-fated Samsung Galaxy Note 7. The device suffered two successive battery defects that caused a small proportion of the phablets sold to customers to catch fire. The phone was eventually pulled from sale permanently following a recall and re-release.
This is not the first incident involving an iPhone 7 and a battery fire. In October, an Australian man claimed that his iPhone 7 caught fire and destroyed his car.
Whether this fire and the one in Australia are isolated incidents, or indicative of a wider problem similar to Samsung’s with the Galaxy Note 7, remains to be seen. The iPhone 7 Plus has been on sale for more than five months.