In brief: Thanks to the Note 7 saga, Samsung will forever be the first company people mention when the term “exploding battery” comes up, but it's an issue faced by other tech firms, including Apple, which has seen yet another of its stores evacuated over one of the overheating components.
Yesterday (August 19), Dutch media reported that an Apple Store at Leidseplein in Amsterdam was briefly evacuated as a precautionary measure after an iPad battery overheated and exploded.
Staff put the tablet in a fire bucket filled with sand before calling firefighters, who tweeted that while there was no smoke present at the scene, three people had to be treated for breathing problems, likely caused by chemical vapors escaping from the iPad’s battery. It’s unknown what caused the overheating, or whether it was a mistake on the part of Apple Geniuses or technicians.
This isn’t the first battery-related Apple Store evacuation we’ve seen this year. In January, one of the outlets in Zurich, Switzerland, was emptied after an iPhone 6s Plus battery overheated and starting emitting smoke. One staff member suffered minor burns, and six people received medical care at the site. Local media reported that the handset had been brought in to have its battery replaced, possibly as part of the discounted replacement program offered by Apple following the performance throttling controversy.
One day after the incident in Switzerland, reports arrived of another iPhone battery explosion in a Spanish Apple Store.
In February, yet another store, this one located in Hong Kong, experienced a battery fire. While no evacuation was needed in this instance, two employees were taken to hospital for smoke inhalation.
We’ve seen plenty of devices with lithium-ion batteries overheating and catching fire over the last few years. Given the number of products that pass through the many Apple stores across the world, three exploding batteries are unlikely to be its biggest concern. Still, it’s the kind of publicity Cupertino won’t want.