As the specter of its annoying iPhone 4S battery drain issue slowly fades, gadget giant Apple now finds its iconic smartphone line facing fresh criticism regarding a unit that exploded while aboard an aircraft.
The handset in question (which was an iPhone 4) apparently grew so hot during a domestic Regional Express service in Australia, that it self-combusted and quick-witted attendants were forced to douse the device.
According to related reports, members of the crew were first alerted to the problem when an unnamed passenger’s iPhone began billowing clouds of smoke into the cabin following the plane’s arrival in Sydney.
The internal heat build up, which caused the phone to glow a vivid red, grew so intense that it shattered the iPhone’s rear casing and exposed melting components around the battery compartment.
Although Australian aviation authorities have announced a formal probe regarding the malfunction, it’s worth noting that overheating issues connected to popular consumer electronic devices are usually traced back to battery defects.
“We look forward to working with the officials investigating this incident,” commented an official spokeswoman for Apple.
News of the combusting iPhone 4 couldn’t come at a worse time for Apple, which recently issued a product recall for its first-generation iPod Nano multimedia player after it was discovered certain units are susceptible to extreme overheating.