If there’s something we learned in the last couple of years about smartphones, it’s that we should always keep an eye on them, especially when charging, as the current battery technologies that are being used could catch fire at any moment, eventually posing as a threat to our lives.
And now it turns out we should do the same thing with headphones given this new wireless trend that Apple is aggressively pushing for, as the company’s new AirPods have recently been involved in a terrifying incident.
Jason Colon from Tampa reveals that he was listening to music while working out, only to notice that one of the earphones started emitting smoke all of a sudden. Naturally, his first reaction was to pull out the AirPods and go ask for help from the staff. When he returned, the right AirPod was completely wrecked, showing signs of flames and a potential explosion that caused it to burst open.
It goes without saying that the man was shocked. “It’s the craziest thing I ever went through,” Colon said. “It was already like this. It was already popped. I didn’t see it happen, but I mean, it was already fried! You can see flame damage.”
It’s not hard to imagine what could’ve happened if the AirPods weren’t removed from his ears fast enough, but the man thinks a warning is needed to help other Apple customers avoid accidents that could let them deaf for life.
“I don’t know what would’ve happened to my ear. But I’m sure since it hangs down, it could’ve been [my] ear lobe. Ear lobe could’ve been burnt. Just because it happens to me doesn’t mean it won’t happen again,” he said.
MY EAR LOBE COULD’VE BEEN BURNT.
By the looks of things, the battery is the one responsible for the incident. Judging from similar incidents in the past, the battery used in electronics can suffer from overheating, which in turn causes smoke and eventually leads to a blast that can be more or less significant in damage depending on how big the battery unit is.
Apple doesn’t provide the exact specifications of the batteries used in AirPods, but an iFixit teardown revealed that the company used a 93 milliwatt hour unit, which is “the equivalent to a little over 1% of the charge capacity in an iPhone 7.”
If you think such a small battery can’t cause much damage or serious injuries in case of an explosion, that’s completely false. The battery of a dumb phone exploded earlier this week, instantly blowing off the right index finger of a 12-year-old boy who was next to the device. Due to pieces of plastic that were sent from the explosion, the boy also suffered injuries to his right ball, eventually losing eyesight for life.
Apple itself is no stranger to devices that explode, though in this case the reported incidents have never been confirmed by the company. Several iPhone models caught firein the past, and every time Apple either remained completely tight-lipped or said it was investigating. Eventually, the company left us believe that no widespread battery issue affected its devices.
THIS ISN'T THE FIRST APPLE DEVICE THAT SUDDENLY CATCHES FIRE.
Batteries that suffered from overheating and which eventually caused a fire forced Samsung to retire a whole line of phones two years ago. The Galaxy Note 7 was equipped with lithium-ion batteries that could burst into flames due to excessive heat, and Samsung decided to pull all models off the market.
In a statement released after the AirPods explosion, Apple also said that it’s looking into reports, without confirming or denying that the right earphone indeed started emitting smoke in the man’s ear.