iPhone XS Max Reportedly Catches Fire in Man's Pocket

Apple's iPhone XS Max is big and powerful. But for one man in Columbus, Ohio, the handset turned into a major problem.

Credit: iDrop News/J. Hillard

(Image credit: iDrop News/J. Hillard)

According to a new report from iDrop News, a man who has asked to be known as J. Hillard said that he was carrying an iPhone XS Max in his pocket and the smartphone spontaneously caught fire. The smartphone was inside a case in his pants pocket at the time and he smelled something "strange," according to the report. He then felt a "large amount of heat" and his skin burning. Soon after, green and yellow smoke came from the iPhone in his pocket.

“Left no other option, I had to exit the room since there was a female in the break room with me and remove my pants," Hillard told iDrop News. "I ran to the boardroom where I got my shoes and pants off as fast as possible. A VP of our company put the fire out with a fire extinguisher because he heard me yelling."

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After that, Hillard said he found a hole in his pants from where the iPhone was and had "pain/irritation in my buttocks region where the pocket of my pants was located."

It's unclear what might have caused the fire in Hillard's iPhone, but his account of what happened could indicate that the battery inside the iPhone XS Max overheated for some reason. In cases where smartphone batteries overheat and catch fire, there's often a terrible smell and plenty of yellow smoke. The pictures he took of his iPhone that have since surfaced online also suggest a possible battery problem.

According to Hillard, he went to the Apple Store that night to tell Apple about his problem. The employees there took his phone, according to Hillard, and told him that they couldn't do much more for him. He called Apple to complain and was ultimately offered a new handset.

According to the iDrop News report, Hillard said that he wants more than just a new iPhone, including new clothing and shoes to replace what had been damaged. He also wants Apple to cover the cost of his wireless service during the period when he didn't have a working iPhone. He's also considering whether to take legal action against Apple.

It's important to remember that this is just an isolated incident. But this is just the latest bit of bad news for Apple's iPhone XS Max. According to Citi analyst William Yang, whose investor note was earlier reported on by Reuters, Apple is planning to cut its iPhone XS Max production in half due to lower-than-expected demand for the handset.

Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.