[Update] GSM Samsung Galaxy S III is Too Hot to Handle; Literally Catches Fire

dgstorm

Editor in Chief
Staff member
Premium Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2010
Messages
10,992
Reaction score
3,966
Location
Austin, TX
sgs3-explodes-1.jpg




No, this isn't one of those fun but cringeworthy stories where you see some crazy blogger with too much money doing crazy things with his device like dropping it from a building or cooking it on a grill. Apparently, for one owner of the international version of the Samsung Galaxy S III, his device became hotter than the presales figures, quite literally. Supposedly, and there are several pics that seem to corroborate this, a gentlemen in Dublin had his SGS3 explode and burst into flames while it was sitting in his car dock with the charger not plugged in.

Of course he immediately took it back to Carphone Warehouse where he purchased it, and they took it from him to send to Samsung for investigation, but they let him leave empty-handed. Apparently, they must suspect that he did something hinky with it to get it to do that, but they want to let Samsung investigate it to be sure. Since the incident, Samsung has issued a statement,

"There have been recent online posts displaying pictures of a Samsung GALAXY SIII that appears to have heat-related damage at the bottom of the device. Samsung is aware of this issue and will begin investigating as soon as we receive the specific product in question.Once the investigation is complete, we will be able to provide further details on the situation. We are committed to providing our customers with the safest products possible and are looking at this seriously."-Samsung statement

sgs3-explodes-2.jpg










What do you guys think? Is this a hoax or just some rare and random event? Let's keep our fingers crossed that it is an isolated and one-time incident regardless.



UPDATE: According to Endgadget via Samsung Tomorrow it appears that it was not an issue with the device itself, but something externally caused the fire. The article states:

Remember the melted Samsung Galaxy S III that surfaced in an Irish forum a few weeks ago? Samsung said they were looking into it and, along with a third party investigation, have decided it occurred as a result of "external energy" being applied to the device, not anything from within the phone itself. The damage is apparently consistent with the phone going in the microwave. The original poster dillo2k10 has posted an update on Boards.ie, indicating it was a mistake by someone else in an attempt to recover the phone after it got wet. The Samsung Tomorrow post linked cites a report from Fire Investigations UK finding that the phone itself was not responsible for generating the heat that caused the damage, so GSIII owners (and the pockets of their skinny jeans) should be able to breathe easier. via Samsung Tomorrow


Source: S3Forums via PhoneArena
 
Last edited by a moderator:

johnomaz

Silver Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2010
Messages
3,187
Reaction score
637
Location
Central Valley, California
Current Phone Model
Google Pixel 2XL
No matter how much quality control you have, there can always be one defective unit here and there. I bet it was the battery. It has happened to Apple too and no matter how much I hate Apple, life happens. In these cases I think the company should take very good care of the customer affected with of course a new phone and maybe a few extras with the phone and of course and most important, an apology. Unless the person had property damage because it beyond the phone or personal injury, a lawsuit shouldn't happen.
 

BLeClair12

Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2010
Messages
178
Reaction score
8
Crazy. Electronics can be scary things sometimes.

I almost had a similar situation with my Macbook Pro a couple of years ago. It was about two years old at the time, and the battery started warping. The laptop wouldn't sit flat on the surface of a desk. I was also infrequently giving me little shocks on occasion when I'd use the trackpad. I called Apple and they, very sternly, told me to save whatever I had open, immediately shut down the laptop, and remove the battery as soon as it was cool enough to touch. Then they sent me a special box to pack the laptop and the battery separately.

Needless to say, I got my computer back three days later with a brand new battery.
 

LoneWolfArcher

Silver Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2009
Messages
1,810
Reaction score
483
Apply fanboy trying to head off the soon to be number one selling smartphone handset. I wouldn't put it past those people to pull a stunt like this.
 

xsylus

Active Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2009
Messages
908
Reaction score
54
Location
Tucson, AZ, USA, Earth
Current Phone Model
Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra H4233
I love the internet; companies have a much harder time sweeping stuff under the rug or flat out denying something is wrong with their product. I imagine Samsung being a reputable company would probably handle this the same way regardless of its virality. But I remember when laptops were doing this and that company covered their own eyes and tried to deny there was a defect.

It's a shame the store couldn't have given the guy a "loaner" phone while he waited for the results of the investigation.
 

skennelly

Active Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2010
Messages
577
Reaction score
30
Location
Illinois
I've left my DX in my car before not plugged in and came back to find my phone shut itself off because it got too hot. I never leave my phone in my car anymore. This doesn't surprise me one bit.
 

WishRyder

Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
54
Reaction score
1
Location
Iowa
Looking at the ifixit.com teardown (Samsung Galaxy S III Teardown - iFixit) it's hard to even imagine what might have caught fire in that area, especially considering it wasn't plugged in.

Obviously, I can see parts in that general area, but since they aren't significant enough to mention in the teardown, there's no way of knowing what they are exactly. Capacitors? Voltage regulators maybe?
 

BenLand150

Premium Member
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2010
Messages
1,813
Reaction score
103
Location
Lincoln, NE
Jeez. Just think if this thing was in his pocket(Assuming this to be true). He better get reimbursed.

This doesn't mean all devices will explode.. for all we know, this is the one bad Samsung phone in the world at the moment.
 

zomnomnombie

Active Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2011
Messages
788
Reaction score
36
That blue is ugly. The phone probably self-destructed when it saw itself.
 

sstenhjem

New Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2011
Messages
17
Reaction score
0
Location
Central Oregon
Check out this video to see what is near the location of the blow out. Doesn't seem to be much in the area, except the microphone and charging port. I think the user was maybe using an after market charger with different from the suggested amp and voltage. IMHO

Around 6:30 he pulls the main board out and you get a good look at it.
http://youtu.be/eo93EF7rVIw


 

jroc

Silver Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2010
Messages
3,843
Reaction score
62
Location
Washington DC
Looking at the ifixit.com teardown (Samsung Galaxy S III Teardown - iFixit) it's hard to even imagine what might have caught fire in that area, especially considering it wasn't plugged in.

Obviously, I can see parts in that general area, but since they aren't significant enough to mention in the teardown, there's no way of knowing what they are exactly. Capacitors? Voltage regulators maybe?

You were thinking the same thing I was when I first saw this. What in the world is in that area???
 

xsylus

Active Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2009
Messages
908
Reaction score
54
Location
Tucson, AZ, USA, Earth
Current Phone Model
Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra H4233
Looking at the ifixit.com teardown (Samsung Galaxy S III Teardown - iFixit) it's hard to even imagine what might have caught fire in that area, especially considering it wasn't plugged in.

Obviously, I can see parts in that general area, but since they aren't significant enough to mention in the teardown, there's no way of knowing what they are exactly. Capacitors? Voltage regulators maybe?

Considering how small and close together the circuits are it really wouldn't take much to cause a short; just a little dust, dirt, or moisture could possibly send power to the wrong place.. but I'm no expert. Chances are there is more to this story. I work in customer service for Sprint so I know how often people bend facts and exaggerate the truth. Every coin has two sides.
 

jaybogg

Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2012
Messages
299
Reaction score
18
Location
Houston, Tx
Looking at the ifixit.com teardown (Samsung Galaxy S III Teardown - iFixit) it's hard to even imagine what might have caught fire in that area, especially considering it wasn't plugged in.

Obviously, I can see parts in that general area, but since they aren't significant enough to mention in the teardown, there's no way of knowing what they are exactly. Capacitors? Voltage regulators maybe?

I really like that ifixit site. Got side tracked and spent a couple hours over there!!
 
Top