The latest in a series of iPhone 6 scandals has hit the internet today, after one man reported that his Apple device not only bent in the front pocket of his jeans, but was altered so much that the battery was compromised and the phone caught on fire. The man has been diagnosed with significant second-degree burns.
Phillip Lechter, an entrepreneur and business-coach was the unlikely victim of the bizarre accident, which occurred in Tucson, Arizona. Lechter and his family had been travelling in a rickshaw which allegedly ran over a track in the road, rocking them back and forth and throwing Lechter against the side of the rickshaw. His iPhone, which was nestled in his pocket at the time, impacted against the wall and bent nearly 90 degrees, even though it had a leather case.
After smelling acrid smoke and feeling a burning sensation in his leg, Lechter looked down at his pocket and realized his iPhone was on fire. Thankfully a nearby pedestrian threw a cup of water over his leg to extinguish the fire and he was then able to remove the phone and throw it out of the rickshaw without sustaining further burns to his fingers or hand. However, the iPhone had already burned through the inner pocket of his jeans and also his boxers.
Lechter sustained a second-degree burn approximately four inches in length from the incident, with several first-degree burns to the surrounding area. The injury has since been examined by a doctor, who recommended that Lechter keep the wound clean and prescribed him antibiotics for treatment.
Lechter’s phone bending and catching fire in his pocket is just the latest incident in a series of scandals and controversies that have surrounded Apple’s iPhone 6 since its release in September. After a record-breaking 10 million units sold in the first weekend of release, the company suffered a series of publicity set-backs when several customers reported that their new devices were bending in their pockets.
Apple was then forced to remove the first update for its iOS 8 operating system only hours after its release when iPhone users reported network connection issues and were no longer able to make phone calls. This unforeseen removal also left several glitches unfixed, which the update had been designed to repair.
These problems took a dramatic toll on Apple at the time, with the company’s stock value falling by approximately $20 Billion in the following week. Since then the damage has been more or less repaired, with new iOS 8 updates free from problems. Apple has also released a statement which confirmed only nine customers had submitted complaints about bent iPhones.
Now Lechter’s burning phone is the latest drama for Apple, although the victim himself admits that the experience was “surreal” and that he would not have believed it if it had not happened to him. Though the likelihood of such a bizarre event recurring seems small, this latest scandal only adds fuel to the controversial fire that has surrounded the iPhone 6 since its release. Apple Inc. has so far declined to comment.
By Mathew Channer