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Burning Man: iPhone allegedly explodes in man’s pocket

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A man from Ohio says that his iPhone XS Max spontaneously caught fire in his back pocket while he was at work. His pocket started billowing smoke until he was able to remove his pants and have the fire extinguished. It left the iPhone in a pretty sorry state.

The man has reportedly refused to hand over his device to Apple Support for a replacement as he was unhappy with their initial response. He’s instead holding out for damages for the ruined clothes, time spent without a phone, and the smoke inhaled due to the fire. He is considering taking legal action if Apple’s response isn’t satisfactory.

The whole story feels like it could be an elaborate fabrication – the man makes plenty of references to removing his pants and feeling pain in his “buttocks region” – but these photos are pretty serious and there’s no real reason to doubt him. It’s unclear what could have caused the issue, though. A rare battery defect?

Assuming the story is true, it’s not a good look for Apple. That said, Samsung survived its own explosion-gate a few years back, even after it had to recall over 2 million phones due to dangerous battery overheating, so if this is an isolated incident Apple should be able to ride it out.