Loose screw blamed for smoking iPhone

Loose screw blamed for smoking iPhone

Summary: A loose screw was to blame for an iPhone that started to emit black smoke on a domestic flight in Australia last year, an investigation has found

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An investigation into an Apple iPhone that started spewing black smoke on a Regional Express (REX) flight last year has revealed the reason for the incident, and led to renewed warnings about the carriage of lithium batteries onto planes.

iPhone fire

The iPhone that caught fire. Image credit: REX/ATSB

Flight crew on a trip from Lismore to Sydney last November noticed that black smoke had begun erupting from an iPhone, which had to be quickly put out with a fire extinguisher.

The phone was sent to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) as part of an investigation into the matter, which has now revealed that a misplaced screw punctured the battery casing, leading to a short circuit that caused the battery to overheat.

The screw that caused the issue was the result of a botched screen-replacement job from a non-authorised service centre. 

For more on this ZDNet UK-selected story, see Airborne, smoking iPhone mishap solved on ZDNet Australia.


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Topics: iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones

Luke Hopewell

About Luke Hopewell

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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