The swelling battery phenomenon has been surfacing since late September.
CNet recently rounded up reports of the issue, finding fewer than 10 cases spread across Japan, Greece, Canada, China, and Taiwan. Photos shared on social media have shown the phone’s screens pushed away from their bodies. Some are of phones that have been used, while others show apparently new phones cracked open in their boxes.
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More details reported by MacRumors indicate that some of the phones showed the problem after charging overnight. The site describes the issue as a “battery failure” and says it shouldn’t be surprising that a few of the millions of iPhone 8 delivered in recent weeks showed faults.
There have also so far been no reports of scorching or explosions related to the new iPhone, which should calm worries of a catastrophic design flaw similar to Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 meltdown. Samsung’s phones caught fire frequently enough that they were recalled en masse, costing the Korean firm an estimated $5 billion including lost revenue.
Apple has been tight-lipped in its response about the “swelling” batteries, saying only that it is looking into the issue, without providing further details. A battery industry analyst speaking to The Verge, however, suspects that Apple executives are “in crisis mode” as they scramble to make sure the isolated reports don’t point to a larger issue.