We have been hearing several more reports about iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus units arriving out of the box with separated sides and presumably bloated batteries, in the last week. One such incident has now been reported in the Chinese state media, for a device delivered to mainland China.
Via ThePaper.cn, Liu reportedly took delivery of an iPhone 8 Plus on Thursday only to find that its case was split as soon as he opened up the packaging.
The front screen piece is clearly bent, leaving the device in a non-functional state with the internal components partly exposed. Apple is investigating the incident but declined to provide a comment to Reuters.
Again unconfirmed, but it is believed that an expansion of the internal battery is causing the devices to split open. Due to the minute tolerances of phones, it only takes a small increase in the size of the component to cause the iPhone to separate.
Whilst there are almost always a few incidents of this kind for new iPhone models, it certainly seems like there have been more than usual for the launch of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.
However, it’s also true that everyone in the industry is more attuned to such problems in the wake of the exploding Galaxy Note 7 situation.
Although details remain murky, it does not appear that any of these devices are delivered in a dangerous condition (it’s not like the battery is about to combust) but it does cause inconvenience and create some bad PR for Apple.
In this particular case, the Chinese report indicates that the person who received the phone is not very happy with the customer service he has received so far. Liu bought the device from JD.com which means Apple itself will not help him out (according to the paper).
As always, take these ‘disasters’ in the context of Apple’s scale. The company will have already shipped millions of iPhones worldwide, even a 0.0001% failure rate will affect a sizeable number of people.
As there appears to be no possibility for personal injury, there is unlikely to be a recall as in the Galaxy Note situation. The most likely resolution is that Apple changes something silently on the supply chain side to stop new devices from being produced with this fault.