Belgian teenager latest victim of exploding iPhone phenomenon

A 15-year old Belgian by the name of Salvatore is the latest victim in a series of mysterious iPhone explosions that have captured the attention of France’s and the European Commissions’ consumer affair watchdogs. Details are scarce for the moment, but according to local news reports the teenager was holding his iPhone in his hand, about to make a call, when the device suddenly ‘imploded’. The incident didn’t cause any serious injuries but reportedly gave Salvatore a headache for a couple of days. He has been promised a free replacement unit by Apple but hasn’t yet received a new phone.

There have earlier been numerous reports of exploding iPhone devices in the United States, United Kingdom and France, with most recently about ten cases having emerged in France where the official competition, consumer affairs and fraud watchdog DGCCRF has now launched an investigation to find out whether the popular Apple smartphone could pose a threat to consumers. Apple, which has sold 26 million iPhones and 200 million iPods to date, said it had been informed of the French cases, but would not comment until it had closely examined the damaged phones.

Update: Apple has now said iPhones turned in by customers in France and elsewhere in Europe with shattered screens showed external pressure that would have caused the cracking. More on Bloomberg and Techmeme.

In one instance, a French teenager claimed he was hit in the eye with a glass shard when the screen of his iPhone cracked up. He said he would seek a full refund and file suit for damages. In another case, Apple came under fire for allegedly asking a young British girl’s family to sign a confidentiality agreement (aka a gagging order) before it would agree to refund her.

Earlier this month, Apple reportedly informed the European Commission that it regards all reported iPhone explosion cases as isolated incidents and have no evidence of a general problem. The European Commission, which has stated that the U.S. technology giant has been very cooperative, has asked all 27 EU nations to keep it informed of any problems under the community’s rapid alert system for dangerous consumer products, known as RAPEX.

(Image via QuickPWN)