iPhone 3GS Battery Swell

My test iPhone 3GS running iOS 6 spontaneously exploded the other day (27th Jan 2014) suffering what can only be described as “death by excessive¬†battery swelling” from the inside out. “Explode” might seem extreme but the actual swelling takes place very quickly so it sounds like it exploded.

The device was sitting on a shelf on standby with my other test iOS devices not too far away from my left shoulder. I heard a loud “crack and pop” noise and turned to see the iPhone 3GS screen half pop out of it’s casing.

I quickly picked up my iPhone 5S to video the event but sadly wasn’t quite quick enough to capture the actual popping.

I observed the iPhone 3GS for a few hours before deciding I couldn’t have it in my studio any longer and so decided I must dismantle it and get the rotten battery out. This was quite scary but also fun. The immense pressure build up inside had bent a circuit board, completely ripped out whole screw housings and almost torn various ribbon cables inside.

I managed to successfully dismantle the phone with appropriate dinky tools. I’m not sure it will ever work again, though. R.I.P. “Trinity” the iPhone 3GS, R.I.P.

I’ve not had a minute to contact Apple about the issue yet. Will they repair it?

Update note: Last week I noticed what can only be described as a very small “wet patch” on the inside of the iPhone 3GS screen. This wet patch was THE warning sign. I can only imagine it was the beginning of the battery swell. Days later the whole phone exploded open to devastating consequences.

Update: Seems this has happened to a few other people too and it’s made the news at TUAW [direct link].