Smartphones rarely, if ever, combust or melt of their own accord, so when a Samsung Galaxy S III owner stepped forward last month, claiming his shiny new device had met a fiery end, his experience came under heavy scrutiny. As expected, Samsung tracked down the phone and had the damage assessed, with the resulting report leaving the owner with little choice by to fess up and declare the accident “a stupid mistake”.
So I [sic] driving along today with my Galaxy S3 in my car mount when suddenly a white flame, sparks and a bang came out of the phone. I pulled in to look at my phone, the phone burned from the inside out. Burned through the plastic and melted my case to my phone. The phone kept working but without any signal … The phone was destroyed and it slightly burned a piece of plastic on the inside of my car.
With the user based in Ireland, Samsung commissioned Fire Investigations UK to check the device and verify his story. Not only was FIUK able to determine that the damage had occurred from an external source, but specifically what that source was:
“The only way it was possible to produce damage similar to the damage recorded within the owner’s damaged device was to place the devices or component parts within a domestic microwave”.
Ah yes, the old… phone-in-the-microwave trick? Haven’t heard of that one before. With the truth ascertained, dillo2k10 was kind enough to post a suspiciously formal retraction explaining what really happened:
The damage to the phone was caused by another person, although they were attempting to recover the phone from water this later caused the damage shown on the phone. It occurred due to a large amount of external energy and there was no fault with the phone. This was not a deliberate act but a stupid mistake.
So, kids, don’t go drying your phones in the microwave. But you probably already knew that anyway.