iPhone 8 could have a serious battery problem after more handsets ‘burst open’

Apple is investigating reports of iPhone 8 Plus handsets bursting open, suggesting a possible battery issue.

The latest unlucky customer is Mr Liu, who bought a 64GB Rose Gold iPhone 8 Plus from an official retailer in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province in South China, according to state media.

When he opened the box, he was shocked to discover that the phone had split open at the side. This was allegedly before Mr Liu had charged it, or even had a chance to touch it or switch it on.

He returned the device to the retailer, which has promised him a new one, but said it could not comment on the reason behind the splitting phone. Mr Liu, however, said he wants a full refund.

Apple said it was investigating the splitting claims after a woman from Taiwan and about four others from different countries said their new iPhone 8 Pluses swelled up and the screen popped out during charging.

The Taiwanese customer told Chinese media sites her iPhone burst open despite being charged with an official Apple power adapter. The handset has been returned to Apple for investigation.

It is not yet clear what caused the damage, but there is no evidence of overheating. Rather, it appears that the batteries may have swelled due to the gases inside.

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus went on sale on 22 September, featuring a new glass and aluminium design, an A11 “Bionic” chip and wireless charging.

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However, they received a relatively muted response from customers – many of whom are waiting for the top-of-the-range iPhone X to go on sale on November 3.

While Samsung was forced to recall its Galaxy Note 7 last year, due to multiple reports of handsets overheating and exploding, there is no reason to panic about the iPhone 8 Plus just yet.

Millions of iPhones come off Apple’s production lines every year, and it is common for a few to have battery failures.

However, it is only a couple of weeks since the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus went on sale, so if reports of battery issues start to multiply, Apple could have a serious problem on its hands.

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