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iPhone 4 Heats Up And Smokes On A Plane

According to reports, an iPhone 4 heated up during a flight on an Australian airline. It  glowed hot and then smoked and the officials in the plane had to ‘extinguish’ it. This incident is yet another of many others which hint that lithium batteries are perhaps not very safe.

Battery issues in iPhone 4?
Apple has recently launched a replacement program for the batteries of first-generation iPod nano devices. According to Apple, there was a very little likelihood that some of these batteries may be dangerous to use and that this was the reason why Apple was ready to replace them.

However, this recent incident of a smoking iPhone 4, most probably a GSM version, on board an Australian airplane shows that Apple may have more battery issues that the company has admitted.

Lithium batteries dangerous?
Experts have speculated for quite some time now that the use of lithium batteries may be dangerous. Although so far these claims haven’t been accepted by the electronics industry or a legal body, a number of incidents seem to prove that. Four years ago, in 2006, Sony had to pull back millions of lithium batteries when it discovered that they contained traces of metals in them which could have rendered them dangerous. As a result, Apple also called off millions of lithium batteries for it’s laptops.

However, lithium batteries use continues largely in the electronics market where a viable, alternative solution is yet to come. Although there may be hope in a number of initiatives trying to find better alternatives, we certainly need to make sure that another smartphone doesn’t blow off in mid-air over a ‘slight’ overlook by it’s vendor.

Image courtesy Yukata Tsutano.
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