The iPhone 8 has been out for just one week in Greater China; however, public enthusiasm for Apple’s latest smartphone has been more than a bit muted in the important market, something that likely will not be helped by reports that one of the newly-purchased phones has “exploded” in Taiwan.
According to Taiwanese media reports, a woman surnamed Wu, from Taichung city in western Taiwan, purchased an iPhone 8 Plus last Saturday. The device lasted until Tuesday afternoon when it “blew up” while charging.
Photos and videos of the damaged phone have gone viral today online. They show that the device did not detonate into flames, ashes and cinders, but instead the phone’s screen appears to have been pushed up, possibly by an inflating battery.
Reportedly, Wu tried charging her phone when its battery life was at 70%. Within three minutes, the phone “exploded,” Wu said that she had to rush over to unplug the device, worrying that it could start a fire. She added that she used the charger that came with the phone.
The device has been sent to an Apple facility for inspection to find out what went wrong.
While no findings have yet been released, many have pointed to the battery as being the problem. To supply batteries for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, Apple is reportedly using Samsung SDI, Amperex Technology Limited, and LG Chem, two of which are the very same companies that supplied batteries for the infamously explosive Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which was recalled last year.
Both Samsung SDI, a sister company in the Samsung group, and Amperex Technology Limited (ATL), a Chinese battery maker, were found at fault for last year’s Note 7 fiasco. ATL is one of the world’s biggest smartphone battery makers and has provided Apple with batteries for many years. Because of the Note 7 fiasco, Samsung announced that it has ditched the supplier for its upcoming flagship devices.
Launched last Friday in Taiwan, interest in Apple’s latest device has been extremely low on the island, low enough to make Apple suppliers’ stocks fall dramatically. The situation is much the same over on the mainland where stores opened on launch day to virtually no lines or enthusiasm. Which comes as yet more bad news for the Silicon Valley company which has seen its sales slide in Greater China for the past six quarters.
It looks like that even though they may have their differences, both sides of the strait can agree that the iPhone 8 sucks.
By Máté Mohos
[Images via Gizmo China]
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