While rare, it’s certainly not the first we’ve heard reports of an iPhone catching fire or spontaneously exploding. Just earlier this month a student reported 2nd-degree burns from an iPhone 5c, and today we get the images above from reader that just had a similar problem with his iPhone 5s.

We don’t know the source of the issue yet, but it looks like the majority of damage is originating from where the battery is located. Of note: The phone was apparently not charging or using any unauthorized accessories but we can’t verify.

Update: Teh Falcon gives more details below

Some more images below:


I’m the OP.

1: The battery was starting to “inflate”, it pushed the TOP part of the screen up enough that I was able to grab ahold of it and rip it off from the bottom UP, of course the phone was getting hot at this point because of a malfunction in the battery so I pulled the screen off with quite a good amount of force. Doing so the screws just ripped out of the threads (they are small screws keep in mind..).

2: As for this, keep in mind, the venting was not some sort of 30 second thing. This went on for about 3 minutes, my home filled with smoke. I work on computers, I did have a phillips screw driver that I was able to take the EMI shields off while it was smoking, because it was too hot to move, So I was trying to disconnect the battery to remove to get it outside (later thinking I realized how this would have done nothing at that point). That is why there is no shielding or cables.

3: As for everyone wondering WHY I had a camera, well. I don’t use this iPhone as my Phone, I have a Moto X that I use for my main phone. I use the iPhone for everything else other then texting and calling, So I had my Moto X with me. My first instinct after seeing other iPhones batteries have malfunctions lately was to get a picture for proof.

ALL the other pictures AFTER the smoke I took for Apple as they requested. I have a Table and a counter near each other (kitchen).

I hope this answers everyones questions.. I realize the skepticism, I would too, but I can assure you, all this was pure instinct, the phone WAS NOT open, had no damage, and RIGHT before the accident was actually IN USE (on Facebook).


(Thanks Teh Falcon!)

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About the Author

Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & Electrek.co. He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.