As much as they're a part of our daily lives, smartphones are still just potentially dangerous pieces of hardware and software. Especially if these gadgets are flawed or damaged.
One Long Island man has third-degree burns on his leg after his iPhone exploded in his pocket. Erik Johnson and his brother had just arrived at his cousin's wake on Valentine's Day, when the unthinkable happened.
"I had the phone in my pocket, simple little gesture, bent over to get keys and all I heard was pop. Sssssh smoke coming out," Johnson said. "And just like an instant burn, my leg just starts going on fire, try to get it out, can't get it out. I was literally jumping up and down trying to get the phone out of my pocket, but I think the phone melted my pockets shut so I couldn't get into it and I had to rip my pants off and throw the pants to the side. A couple of people actually said they could smell my body burning."
Johnson spent 10 days in the hospital's burn unit before he was discharged. Twice a day, a nurse visits his house to change the bandages and check on his recovery from the second and third-degree burns on his inner thigh.
Johnson was carrying an iPhone 5c in his pocket when it exploded. The phone damage was so intense that the metal casing warped and stuck to the phone itself.
Mike Della, Johnson's lawyer, says that he used an Apple charging cable and not a third-party charger that could cause damage to the battery. "Obviously Apple has to take a closer look at what they're putting out in the stream of commerce before they go out and sell these items that could potentially be this dangerous," Della said.
As long as you're using Apple-certified chargers for your iPhone, it should be fine. Be sure to use a durable case to keep the slim phones from bending, which is how the battery could have been damaged enough to explode. Also, be sure to give the phone plenty of airflow to keep it from overheating.