Offtopic rights: explosions and their consequences


The situation with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has come to its logical end. Users are gradually giving up their phones, Samsung is trying to draw the right conclusions from what happened and is working hard on SGS8. It would seem that this is the time to put a fat point in this whole story. But to drive the enraged genie back into the bottle can be much more difficult than foolishly to release it from there. And to figure out who is right, who is to blame, where there are 'own', and where 'strangers' this genie will definitely not be, will go to everyone at once.

For many users, the very idea that a battery might explode or catch fire was new. Most buyers simply never thought about it, because today a smartphone is as common a thing as a comb or a toothbrush. You just don't expect any dirty tricks from such familiar things.

There have always been reports of battery explosions, which is not surprising. Anything that is even theoretically capable of breaking will sooner or later break, not for you, but for someone else. Especially if this 'someone else' is not eager to comply with the operating rules prescribed by the manual. It's just that no one paid attention to such stories before, just like many other unpleasant and tragic incidents. Well, someone's phone caught fire on the other side of the globe, well, then what? You never know what is happening in the world. Now each such case gets on the front pages of thematic resources and is widely discussed. Which of this is true and which is fiction, where the manufacturer is to blame, and where the user is, it is impossible to understand. But journalists and commentators have already got a taste and are just waiting for an excuse to point a finger at some company and loudly exclaim – 'Mass marriage!'.

For the sake of experiment, I decided to go to a large technical site and drive the word 'iPhone' into the search. I took as an example, but you can replace it with anything you like. The result was predictable – in the last two weeks alone, there have been mentions of three explosions.

During the lecture, New Jersey college students heard a strange hiss and clap sound, and smoke poured out of the pocket of their classmate Darin Hlavata. The student managed to pull the smartphone out of his pocket, although he burned his fingers, and dropped the device on the floor.


A couple of days later, a US resident woke up in the middle of the night from a bright flash and the sound of an explosion. iPhone 6 Plus, which it bought just three months ago, exploded. The case ended with a small fire, which was extinguished before the arrival of the fire brigade. “What would happen if the smartphone exploded while talking?” The customer asks.

Link to news

At that moment it seemed that the question was exclusively rhetorical. But less than a week later, a brand new Apple iPhone 7 exploded right in front of the user's face while he was shooting the video. According to the victim, he got badly from the fragments of the display splashed in all directions.


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Interestingly, two of the three posts concern the iPhone 6 Plus, which has been on sale for a year now and had never before exploded a couple of times a week. What is even more curious, there are no such messages about the classic six, that is, suddenly the smartphone that is most similar to Note has become dangerous.

You can try to find some kind of rational grain in all this. For example, most of the 6 Plus are now in a second-hand state, there are probably enough among them barely living devices with cracks on the case and damaged batteries. If you shove such a smartphone into your jeans pocket, and then sit down at your desk, then you really have a chance to “break” the device by literally crushing the battery. Moreover, the size of the smartphone is not very small, and it is not very convenient in your pocket.

Offtopic rights: explosions and their consequences

You can blame everything on the intrigues of competitors and not very smart users who dream of being on the front pages of Internet publications at any cost. In this case, the choice of iPhone 6 Plus as a victim is quite obvious – and breaking it is not so sorry as the 'seven', and something like the terrible Note.

And you can also remember Heinlein's old story called Waldo. Where users began to fear so much for the operation of technology and selflessly invent various horrors that it really began to break down. And if Heinlein guessed right, then I have very bad news for all phablet manufacturers …


Public opinion, fueled by the latest events, is ready to flare up from any spark cleaner than a defective Note 7. And for this, even a new mass marriage is not needed – just a couple of loud cases of fires or explosions of smartphones are enough. What is true and what is not – no one will understand. The marriage of the Samsung phablet became a kind of precedent that showed how and who needs to act in this case. Now the recall of problem devices (and before the results of the final investigation) will be required from any manufacturer, potentially dangerous smartphones will be banned from transportation in the transport of a number of countries, and all the excuses of the manufacturer will be taken with considerable skepticism.

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