More iPhone 8 Batteries Swelling, Apple Investigating

Several cases have been reported of iPhone 8 units bursting open after having battery problems.

Credit: iFeng

(Image credit: iFeng)

Specifically, devices in at least six countries have been reported to have split when batteries reportedly swelled enough to separate the scren from the rest of the chassis. While there are no reports of injury or fire, Apple says it is investigating.

A woman in Taiwan claimed that she was harging the iPhone 8 when it suddenly burst open. A similar scenario played out in Japan, when a user said the iPhone 8 Plus opened and caused the device's screen to separate from the assembly, revealing the internal components. Both handsets were returned and are now with Apple for investigation, according to MacRumors.

In a statement to MacRumors, Apple said that that it's "aware" of the problem and is "looking into it." The company didn't say anything beyond that.

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After Samsung's troubles last year with the Galaxy Note 7 that ultimately forced the company to recall its handset, anxieties are high over possible battery problems.

CNET and Reuters have both issued further reports about swelling batteries splitting iPhones, with incidents in at least five different countries. However, there are no reports of battery fires or injury. Apple hasn't confirmed how many devices are affected by the issue, but is looking into it.

"Swelling is rare for a new battery so that must mean there is something wrong with these batteries," Lynette Luna, principal analyst for consumer service platforms and devices told Tom's Guide. Most swelling happens because of user error, like using a different charger than what comes with the phone and overcharging with an unapproved charger." 

It appears from the reports that the iPhone is coming apart due to its battery swelling to an abnormal level and ultimately causing enough pressure to separate the screen from the chassis. It's unclear why that might happen, though those who were affected by the problem weren't injured.

"I’d say it’s too early to indicate this is a widespread problem," said Luna. "It could be a random event, especially since there are just six reported cases so far globally.

It's not uncommon for devices as popular as the iPhone to periodically have some isolated problems. Look for Apple to closely investigate the matter and find out if there's even a problem to worry about.

Andrew E. Freedman

Andrew E. Freedman is an editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming as well as keeping up with the latest news. He holds a M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Kotaku, PCMag, Complex, Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag among others.