Samsung: Galaxy 'S3' burns not caused by smartphone

Investigators have found that the only way to replicate the burns on a Galaxy S III that reportedly burst into fire is to put it in a microwave
Written by Karen Friar, Contributor

Samsung has doused worries that its flagship Galaxy S III could spontaneously burst into flames, after investigators found they could only reproduce the burns on a damaged phone by putting it in a microwave.

An Irish user 'dillo2k10' posted on a messageboard in June that they had been using the Galaxy S III in a car mount "when suddenly a white flame, sparks and a bang came out of the phone".

Samsung S III with burns on bottom

On Saturday, the Korean hardware maker said an independent assessment by Fire Investigations UK (FIUK) found that "the energy source responsible for generating the heat has been determined as external to the device".

The tests looked not only at the damaged smartphone but also other Galaxy S III handsets, Samsung said in a blog post. The Android-powered device has energy-hungry components — a 4.8-inch screen and a 1.4GHz quad-core processor — requiring a hefty 2,100mAh battery.

However, the investigators found "the device was not responsible for the cause of the fire."

"The only way it was possible to produce damage similar to the damage recorded within the owner's damaged device was to place the devices or component parts within a domestic microwave," FIUK said in its report, according to Samsung.

In a post to the same Irish messageboard on Friday, 'dillo2k10' retracted their original statement about the incident, saying there was "no fault with the phone" and suggesting someone else had caused the burns when trying to dry out the Galaxy S III.

"The damage to the phone was caused by another person, although they were attempting to recover the phone from water, this later caused the damage shown on the phone," 'dillo2k10' wrote. "This was not a deliberate act but a stupid mistake."

The user's initial complaint and thread on the messageboard, which showed photos of the damaged phone (above), is now no longer available.

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