The woman, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said she took her story to tech website Mashable in order to spread public awareness over the reported issue, claiming that Apple has been reticent to acknowledge the alleged incident.
The unnamed source claims that she awoke in the early morning during a recent trip to the east coast to find her year-old white iPhone 4 making "sizzling" and "popping" noises. After an unspecified amount of time there was ânot quite an explosion, but an immense crackling,â and smoke plumed from the device creating "an awful, putrid smell, almost like you were ingesting plastic of some kind.â
Inspection of the provided pictures yields no clues as to which components were heated to the point of creating smoke, though it a bulging battery is clearly seen to have expanded enough to force apart the iPhone's casing.
According to the report, the iPhone was connected via an Apple-branded charger to a power outlet that was later inspected and found to be working normally.
The woman goes on to say that when she asked Apple to be upgraded to a replacement iPhone 4S, the company furnished her with another iPhone 4.
Pictures of the alleged iPhone 4 combustion. (Note that images are flipped horizontally) | Source: Mashable
âI would have liked to have seen them say they understand this might not be something that affects everyone,â the Colorado woman said. âBut, because it happened here, [they should] put up a precautionary statement to make people aware that if their battery becomes too hot to be wary.â
The alleged incident is reportedly the first of its kind in the U.S., though there has been at least one similar instance in Australia involving the iPhone 4.
This is not the first time Apple has seen problems with overheating batteries as it extended a replacement program for its first-generation iPod nano in 2011 due to a defect that caused the device's battery to overheat. The Cupertino, Calif., company first acknowledged the problem in a 2008 press release that stemmed from an investigation by the Japanese government.
There have been no reports of severe overheating issues with the iPhone 4S or any other products in Apple's current lineup.