Last month, Apple launched its iPhone 8 Plus, the new model smartphone that is also an understudy to the iPhone X. Since its launch, there have been some reports of the device splitting open while connected to the charger. Now, we are seeing reports that suggest this is a persistent problem.
At first, it was believed the incidents were sporadic enough to not cause Apple problems. However, it now seems there are more cases happening, suggesting the company could have a quality control issue on its hands.
MacRumors reports numerous readers who have been affected. Their iPhone 8 Plus devices are splitting open while under a charge. Apple says it is looking into the problem.
The obvious question is why could this be happening? While a structural issue is a possibility, the most likely culprit is a faulty battery. Customers are only reporting the problem when they are plugged in for a charge.
It appears the battery is swelling for some reason, pushing on the screen and popping the aluminium and glass body. If this is the case, it will be interesting to see whether all batteries in new iPhone 8 Plus handsets are susceptible to the problem.
If they are, we could be looking at a significant call back that would cause Apple all sorts of problems. Due to the unibody design of the iPhone, Apple cannot simply send out replacement batteries. The company will obviously be hoping this is something a software patch can solve.
Haunted by Samsung
We don't seem to be at Samsung Galaxy Note 7 levels of embarrassment just yet. You may remember last year, Samsung's then flagship kept exploding and catching fire. The company was forced to recall millions of units and axe the device completely, while wiping billions of its value.
There are no reports that the iPhone 8 Plus problem is a health threat. But if it is a widespread hardware issue, we are wondering how Apple would handle the situation. At best it could be a limited recall, at worse a Samsung-style situation where the problem is unsolvable.
Early days of course, but it's fun to speculate.