We sometimes hear weird stories about iPhone accidents. Nearly all of them involve ‘user distraction’. Entire Youtube videos are devoted to graphic scenes involving pedestrians, faces buried in their cell phones, who got hit by cars or trucks. Most of us are guilty of distractibility.
But, the other type of story is the kind where something went haywire with the iPhone. How common these are is a moot question. But, look, here are some examples:
- In 2016, a UK man was reportedly electrocuted while using--and charging--his iPhone in the bath.
- A 23-year-old woman was electrocuted when she was taking a bath and looking at her social media page with a charging iPhone in Russia.
- Two other people (India, Malaysia) were electrocuted while using and charging their cell phones at the same time.
- Before that, a 25-year-old stewardess in China was electrocuted while trying to answer her iPhone while it was charging, which prompted an investigation by Apple.
It should be noted that between August and October of 2013, Apple offered users an authentic Apple charger for $10 if they brought a charger they believed faulty and their iPhone into the store. The authentic charger says, “Designed by Apple in California.” All others say some other variant of this and are not real.
Some non-death accidents:
- There have been several (eight) reports of smoking/exploding iPhone 7’s so far.
- A 32-year-old man in Alabama was given the shock of his life when his dog tag slipped between an extension cord and his iPhone charger, giving him a 110-volt shock as he slept, which jolted him to the floor. He was able to break the chain upon waking, but as it only takes 100 volts to kill a person, he is lucky to be alive.
- An iPhone 5C exploded in a teenagers pants pocket, and in August a Chinese woman had her cornea scratched by flying glass when she tried to end a call after her iPhone got hot from a 40-minute conversation.
- During a freak accident, a U.K. mountain biker living in Australia fell from his bike, and the iPhone 6 in his back pocket exploded through two pairs of thick biking shorts, resulting in this graphic injury. Another man, visiting the University of Arizona, had his iPhone 6 catch fire and give him a second degree burn through his jeans and boxers after the rickshaw he was riding in crashed and threw him into the side of the vehicle.
- A Queensland teen was nearly decapitated by his earphones when the motorbike he was riding crashed and yanked the earphone wires across his throat.
Although Apple is aware that their chargers, which cost about $1 more than an imitation to make, are wildly overpriced, they continue to price them with impunity, going to far as to try to make the iPone 5S’ lightning connector inimitable, called a ‘money grab’ by critics. Fakes appeared within a few months.
So, what can the average user do to avoid a freak accident? Here are some tips:
- Don’t charge your iPhone and use it at the same time. Give it a few minutes to recharge and then use it.
- Don’t use your iPhone in the pool, hot tub, or bath. Not even an iPhone 7. Yes, we know they’re designed so you can use them as you shower, but just make it a rule not to.
- Make sure your hands are dry before you use your iPhone or plug in the charger.
- Be mindful when you charge your iPhone. The power cord plug should be completely inserted into the iPhone.
- Don’t use imitation chargers. Yes, we know the real ones cost more. No doubt someone will file a class action suit at some point and you can use the money to send the great grandkids to college with a shiny new pen in hand.
- Don’t use frayed, broken, or otherwise damaged charging cords.
- Don’t use earphones if you’re engaged in an extreme sport, especially one involving a moving vehicle.
Considering the number of people who use iPhones on a daily basis, the safety record is pretty high, and we’d like to keep it that way, especially with respect to our amazing customers.