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Apple blames users for exploding iPhones

'External force' to blame for iPhone injuries

Apple claims the latest reports of "exploding" iPhones are caused by an "external force" and not by bursting into flames due to overheating batteries.

Responding to the latest reports of faulty iPhones, this time in France, Apple said that all of the handsets they had seen had broken screens showing outside pressure had caused the cracking not internal heat.

"In all cases the glass cracked due to an external force that was applied to the iPhone," said Alan Hely, a London-based spokesman for Apple Europe.

"There are no confirmed battery overheating incidents for iPhone 3GS and the number of reports we are investigating is in the single digits."

Despite the reassurances, Herve Novelli, France's secretary of state for trade and consumer affairs, met with Apple's Michel Coulomb to discuss the "causes of the implosion of these devices and eventual measures they could take", according to AP. A representative at the ministry declined to comment on the meeting reports Bloomberg.

Previously last week, Apple told the European Commission, also investigating claims of overheating Apple devices, that "these are isolated incidents and that there is not a general problem," according to a statement issued by Directorate-General for Health and Consumers. Apple has sold 26 million iPhones and 200 million iPods to date.

"For the cases which have been reported in the media, Apple [is] trying to get more information on the details of the incidents and will do tests as necessary to investigate the possible cause," the statement said.

An 18-year-old French teenager complained his eye was injured a week earlier when his girlfriend's iPhone began making a hissing noise and the device's glass touchscreen shattered, according to a report by the AFP news agency.

In the UK, a 47-year-old man from Liverpool told The Times earlier this month that his daughter's iPod touch made a hissing noise and exploded after he dropped it. The Times reported Apple would only offer the family a full refund only if they were willing to sign a settlement form. The proposed agreement left them open to legal action if they ever disclosed the terms of the settlement claims the newspaper.

In the Netherlands, an iPhone 3G was reportedly sitting in a car when the owner returned to find it was destroyed, burning a huge hole in the vehicle's seat.

Apple's reassurances are unlikely to put an end to claims of "exploding" and overheating iPhones and iPods.

See also:

Apple iPhone news

Apple iPhone 3GS review

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