Smartphone Woes Continue with Bursting Batteries 

First it was the iPhone 6, then the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Now the iPhone 8 has battery problems. What can you do to protect yourself and your phone?

Smartphones are getting smarter with every new update, a point laboured by Apple, who have promised that their newly released iPhone X is the “smartest smartphone ever.” The trouble is, to power all that processing capability in a slim, lightweight phone, the battery has to pack a bigger punch than ever before.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised, therefore, that this is increasingly looking like the Achilles heel for the leading smartphone manufacturers. Samsung’s problems were well documented, to the extent that they wound down the battery power on their most recent phones, figuring that shorter battery life would be better than exploding phones.

But market leader Apple have also had problems of their own. Last year they ran a recall on thousands of iPhone 6S handsets with battery problems, and now there are a growing number of reports that the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus phones are experiencing similar problems. The only phone that seems immune is the iPhone 7, and these latest incidents have prompted many to save both money and aggravation by shunning the latest model and buying a refurbished iPhone 7 Plus instead.

What’s going wrong?

Over recent days, there have been a growing number of users posting online photos of their stricken iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus handsets with the screen pulling away from the body. Preliminary reports theorise that the damage is caused by the battery expanding and effectively causing the case to explode outwards.

The first reports came in from Asia, with users from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan all sharing identical stories. According to a Mrs Wu from Taipei, she had plugged the phone in, using the correct Apple charger and cable, and within minutes she could see the casing expanding outwards, and the screen snapped away from the body.

Is it a broader problem?

The incidents being reported certainly call to mind the debacle that Samsung experienced last year, which led to a global recall of its Galaxy Note 7 handsets. It goes without saying that the energy involved in breaking a phone from the inside is significant, particularly when it happens in a matter of a few short minutes.

If you have any concerns regarding the safety of your iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus, you should unplug the charger immediately and take both it and the phone to your nearest Apple store to be checked over.

When asked by newspaper reporters for a statement on the matter, Apple only said that it was aware of the reports and looking into the issue. Given that the new iPhone X is going on sale this weekend, the problem could not have hit the headlines at a worse time for Apple.

Regardless of this, however, they have a duty to put consumer safety first and foremost.