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A woman has filed a lawsuit against Apple for a fire in her Wisconsin home that was allegedly started by an iPhone 4S. Should current iPhone 4S owners start to worry, or is this just an isolated incident?
( Feng Li | Getty Images )
An iPhone 4S owner, with insurance company State Farm, filed a lawsuit against Apple for allegedly selling her a defective unit that started a fire in her home in Wisconsin.
The incident, which happened on April 1, 2016, evokes memories of the numerous explosive incidents that involved the failed Galaxy Note 7, though there have also been a few instances when iPhones were the ones that caused fires.
Apple Lawsuit For iPhone 4S Fire
The iPhone 4S owner, a woman named Xai Thao, and State Farm are demanding for $75,000 from Apple for the damage caused by the fire that was allegedly started by the smartphone.
The lawsuit against Apple claims that the design, manufacture, and sale of the iPhone 4S “created a dangerous, unsafe, and defective condition,” which already existed when the smartphone was shipped out. The lawsuit was only recently filed in a U.S. district court, despite the incident happening more than a year ago.
Thao purchased the iPhone 4S in 2014, but it is unclear whether she did so from an Apple store or an authorized retailer. The complaint, however, notes that the device was purchased in new condition, with no tampering of any sort done to the iPhone 4S and its battery.
Preliminary investigations conducted by State Farm claimed that there was evidence to support a “significant and localized heating event” near the device’s battery, along with signs of internal shorting. These signs, according to the complaint, point at an internal failure of the iPhone 4S, causing the fire in Thao’s home. There were no other possible sources of the fire, with investigations also showing that the damage done to the battery was not caused by a fire. This led to the conclusion that the battery of the iPhone 4S itself caused the incident.
Is The iPhone 4S Dangerous?
Improper design and manufacturing for lithium-ion batteries, the kind of battery used by most consumer devices, carries the risk of explosions. This is what happened to the Galaxy Note 7 last year, as well as to other products such as hoverboards and fidget spinners.
However, there have been no other reports of explosive iPhone 4S units ever since it was launched in 2011, so the smartphone will likely not be considered a dangerous one due to what happened to Thao and her home. This appears to be an isolated incident, which may have been caused by factors such as the state of the iPhone 4S after three years in her possession and the charger that Thao was using at time if the device was charging.
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