We have seen several major tech scandals in recent years involving defective devices. Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 was a PR disaster, while Apple faced “Bendgate” with the iPhone 6. Could Cupertino now be facing #Detogate after an exploding iPad erupted at an Apple store in Amsterdam?
The BBC reports the explosion occurred on August 19 in an Apple retail location. It seems an iPad turned into a mini bomb that resulted in an explosion. The blast was sufficient enough that the store needed help from the fire department.
Dutch media expands by saying Apple staff tackled the explosion by attempting to put the iPad in a sand bucket. However, this measure failed, and the store was closed for 45 minutes as fire workers dealt with the device.
Interestingly, three employees were treated for breathing difficulties caused by fumes emitted from the faulty product.
Unfortunately, it is not known which model iPad caused the explosion. If it was the latest 2018 iPad then Apple may have a serious and growing problem, although if it is an existing model, then its likely this situation was isolated.
If it was indeed the newest model, could Apple be facing a quality control issue? Of course, one incident does not point to that, but when these things happen on new devices, the problems can escalate. Certainly, exploding iPad models emitting noxious fumes would be worthy of a new hashtag event… we'll go with #Detogate.
We'll watch this one closely because it brings back memories of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 scandal. Launched two years ago as the company's fall flagship, the handset was plagued with issues. Chief among them was the not-so-slight fact devices were prone to catching fire.
This was certainly not an isolated case as Samsung was forced to pull the product entirely and lost billions of dollars in the process.
As an aside, I find it interesting that the Samsung scandal, and indeed Apple's Bendgate did little to harm the companies. Sure, Samsung lost a lot of money, but the company's reputation was largely unharmed. Ditto Apple with Bendgate. Consumers still rushed out to buy the iPhone 6, and you can bet they will be rushing out to by the new Galaxy Note 9.
If #Detogate become a thing (again, evidence so far suggest it won't), Apple will likely ride the storm. Embarrassment and some emptier pockets maybe, but no lasting damage to brand reputation.