We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Apple iPhone 4 "Self-Combusts" on Airplane

The reason why the iPhone belched smoke and glowed red is under investigation.

In what appears to be a one-off incident and not a general manufacturing flaw, a passenger's iPhone 4 "self-combusted" on an Australian flight last Friday, according to an airline press release [PDF].

The iPhone started belching smoke and glowing red (like HAL's eye) after Regional Express flight ZL319 from Lismore to Sydney landed. A flight attendant quickly extinguished the mysterious red glow, and no one was harmed.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating the incident and hasn't yet released the definitive cause of the smartphone's malfunction. However, Mashable spoke to an Apple product service specialist, who said it was "plausibly caused by a combination of a defect in the battery cell with a failure in the phone's battery-temperature management system."

Since this appears to be a freak accident, not a recurring defect, don't chuck your iPhone or demand a massive recall along the lines of the first-gen iPod Nano yet.

IDG UK Sites

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 review: The best iPad mini and Nexus 7 rival tablet around

IDG UK Sites

Which Mac? Complete Apple Mac buyers guide for 2014

IDG UK Sites

Mobile email is powerful and useful - but also hopelessly intrusive

IDG UK Sites

Samsung lights up London skyline with Midnight Rainbow