An Apple Watch Series 7 exploded recently, and Apple tried to cover it up. Maybe that’s why there’s not much uproar over it!
Apple Watch Explodes, Apple Tries To Cover It Up!
An Apple Watch Series 7 user recently reported to 9to5Mac that his smartwatch overheated, started smoking and eventually exploded!
The user recently noticed that his smartwatch was getting much hotter than usual, and that the back of the Apple Watch Series 7 had cracked.
watchOS also started showing a warning about needing to shut down due to the high temperature. This happened while he was in his own home where the temperature was just over 70°F / 21°C.
He immediately called Apple Support, and his call got escalated through multiple levels, eventually landing in the hands of a manager who told him not to touch the watch until he heard back from them.
The next morning, the Apple Watch was even hotter to the touch, and the heat actually shattered its display!
When he picked it up to take photos to send to Apple Support, it started making “crackling sounds” and “exploded” just as he threw it out the window.
The exploding Apple Watch Series 7 left burn marks on his couch, and he visited the hospital emergency room out of an abundance of caution over the potential of lead poisoning from the burning Apple Watch.
When he reached out to Apple, he was told that his case was a “top priority”, and that he would receive an update by the “following Monday”. Apparently, it wasn’t top priority enough to deal on a weekend…
Eventually, he waited until Wednesday, October 5, 2022, to hear back from Apple – it arranged to pick up the Apple Watch for further tests in its labs.
Apple also sent him a document asking him to agree not to share his experience with anyone. Fortunately, the Apple Watch user declined to sign the document, so he could share his story. Otherwise, we would never have known about an Apple Watch Series 7 exploding!
Apple Watch Explodes vs. Samsung Phone Batteries Bloating
It is inevitable that comparisons will be made between this story of an Apple Watch actually exploding, and the recent complaints by influencers that their Samsung phone batteries were bloating.
First, let me point out that in both cases, we cannot determine cause and effect merely from a few cases (in the saga of bloating Samsung batteries) or one case (this example of an exploding Apple Watch).
Apple sold over 100 million Apple Watch models since December 2020, and Samsung sells over 270 million smartphones every year. So it is important to frame both incidences in that context.
While exploding or bloating batteries are a real danger that we must all be aware of, it is an unavoidable risk of using lithium-ion battery technology.
When the drama over bloating Samsung batteries first exploded (pun intended!), many people asked me for my opinion as I too have many smartphones that I keep for comparison tests.
I shared that so far, the only Samsung phone to bloat was an old Galaxy S7 edge from 2017, and many other smartphones from ASUS, Xiaomi, etc. have bloated on me. In fact, a realme smartphone is slowly splitting itself in two from a battery bloat in front of me right now.
So it isn’t exactly a “brand problem”. In fact, the worst brand for battery bloating in my personal experience is Apple. My 15-inch MacBook Pro suffered no less than THREE (3) sets of bloated batteries in just 3 years. So Apple fans really should not laugh at other brands over battery issues.
All lithium-ion batteries have an innate risk of bloating, catching fire, or even exploding. That is something we must all acknowledge.
Of course, better design decisions and stringent quality control can greatly reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of such dangerous incidences. When hundreds of millions of lithium-powered devices are being manufactured every year, it is inevitable that many of them will bloat after some time, and a few will catch fire and may even explode.
That is why airlines forbid travellers from storing lithium-ion batteries, or devices with lithium-ion batteries, in their check-in luggage. That’s to ensure that if a fire does break out, it would be noticeable to the cabin crew, and can be tackled quickly.
What is most concerning though what happens when companies are made aware of battery issues. Do they take you seriously and treat you right? Or do they try to shut you up, to protect their reputation and sales?
What Samsung did was assuring, but probably only because they learned their lesson from the Galaxy Note7 battery saga. Apple did not suffer through such a traumatic event, and it shows.
Perhaps they should go through a similarly traumatic experience. Then maybe they will treat their customers a little better. The way they treated me when I reported my MacBook Pro’s bloated batteries is why I steadfastly refuse to ever consider buying an iPhone.
And trying to cover up this case of an Apple Watch exploding? That’s just not right…
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