Latest iPhone 4 Defect: It Catches Fire

One of the new iPhone 4s have caught fire—underscoring the number of defects that have been appearing in Apple’s newly-released and redesign smartphone. BoyGeniusReport received photographs showing the aftermath of the internal fire from a source at AT&T. The USB port on the device in the photos is literally melted, as is the factory-standard charging cable that was plugged in during the fire. The fire is believed to have been caused by the malfunctioning of the iPhone’s USB port.

Fires in battery-powered devices are not entirely uncommon, and other Apple devices have burst into flames in the past. Take for example an iPod Nano that ignited spontaneously back in the Fall of 2007. The victim in that case claimed that the device in his pocket simply lit up and that the flames from the fire reached up to his chest. The fire was blamed on the lithium-ion battery in the iPod—the same situation that has occurred with multiple battery recalls in the laptop industry. Batteries definitely carry enough stored energy to ignite when something goes wrong,

However, the iPhone 4 that caught fire does not have a malfunctioning battery as the culprit. BGR is also reporting that an Apple Store has confirmed that it was indeed the USB port that was at fault in this incident, revealing yet more defective hardware from Apple. It might be unfair to blame Apple for this—they certainly do not build the phones themselves but rather outsource production to foreign companies based in Asia—but since so many other problems have surfaced with the smartphone since the its highly anticipated launch last month, no one is going to give them any sympathy for this.

The iPhone 4 bursting into flames: a freak fluke or more shoddy workmanship resulting from a rushed launch? Perhaps the most revealing tidbit of information in all of this is that the customer who returned the fried phone to the store was told that they will have to wait for the next incoming shipment of iPhones to get a replacement, as the store was currently sold out. Tell me what you think.

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