iPhone XS Max reportedly explodes in Ohio man's pocket

Apple's iPhone XS Max has always been touted as a hot performer. One Ohio man found out the hard way.

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Imagine sitting down for a nice afternoon meal and then feeling a burning sensation in your buttcheeks. For one Ohio man, this scenario became a reality when his new iPhone XS Max reportedly began the process of exploding due to the impending failure of the device’s battery.

The man, identified by iDrop News as Josh HIlliard, reported that he began to feel an intense heat coming from the device, which then began expanding and emitting smoke and an unpleasant odor. Hilliard was quickly on his way to becoming BBQ when a quick-acting colleague grabbed a fire extinguisher and snuffed out the flames that engulfed Hilliard’s pants.

Hilliard explained, “Once the phone was extinguished, I was left with a hole in my pants, fire extinguisher on my pants/shoes, and some pain/irritation in my buttocks region where the pocket of my pants was located."

Unfortunately for Hilliard, the pain in his buttocks was worsened once he sought support from Apple for the exploding iPhone. The charred device was taken to an Apple Store where he was offered a replacement on the condition that he turn over the original. Hilliard refused and contacted AppleCare with photos of the scorched smartphone. AppleCare reportedly offered the same solution, which Hilliard found insufficient. He is said to be exploring all his legal options going forward.

It is hard to say exactly what went wrong with this particular iPhone XS Max, as the batteries are designed to expand rather than ignite in the case of cell failures. Some suspect that the phone was slightly bent as a result of spending its downtime in a back pocket. If the user sits on the phone while it is in a back pocket, the frame could experience a bend and put strain on the battery housing.

We reported back in October that many iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max users had issues with charging the new batteries via Lightning Cables, but that was allegedly a software bug, rather than something that may cause a minor explosion.

My personal theory is that the owner could have been a major league liar. Having his pants set on fire was obviously nature’s way of letting the rest of us know what was up.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 2, 2019 10:20 AM

    Chris Jarrard posted a new article, iPhone XS Max reportedly explodes in Ohio man's pocket

    • reply
      January 2, 2019 10:43 AM

      Apple copying Samsung for a change.

    • reply
      January 2, 2019 10:45 AM

      Be honest, you're only reporting on this because it happened in Ohio right?

    • reply
      January 2, 2019 10:54 AM

      The charred device was taken to an Apple Store where he was offered a replacement on the condition that he turn over the original. Hilliard refused and contacted AppleCare with photos of the scorched smartphone. AppleCare reportedly offered the same solution, which Hilliard found insufficient. He is said to be exploring all his legal options going forward.

      It is hard to say exactly what went wrong with this particular iPhone XS Max...


      It's hard to say exactly what happened because the guy is refusing to help Apple identify what went wrong. They want his phone so they can try to figure out what happened, and he won't turn it over. I can't imagine any logical reason why he wouldn't want to turn it over, unless this was caused by something that was clearly his fault and he knows it.

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        January 2, 2019 11:09 AM

        He needs it as evidence in the lawsuit he's about to file.

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        January 2, 2019 11:14 AM

        I took it as he was looking for more than just a replacement, like maybe some store credit. Or, more likely he wanted it to press a lawsuit with. He won't get too far with that unless there are at least a few other people with similar experiences.

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        January 2, 2019 11:15 AM

        You can't imagine that the dude wants a check from apple amd not jusf a new phone.

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          January 2, 2019 11:26 AM

          I imagine that’s what he wants but since we’ve seen zero other incidents of this, and the phone has been out for quite a while, plus the fact that the phone was in his rear pocket from the sounds of the article, I imagine this is a user problem.

          All jokes about “you’re holding it wrong” aside, there are absolutely things an end user can do to cause a phone to go thermal and as of right now, with what we know, that sounds like the case here.

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            January 2, 2019 11:36 AM

            You don't have enough information to say that.

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        January 2, 2019 11:16 AM

        They should just negotiate the difference. Apple gets the blown-up iPhone for marketing research purposes, and the guy gets to keep the shrapnel embedded in his thigh to help make some law firm's 2019 Christmas party extra top shelf.

    • reply
      January 2, 2019 11:35 AM

      Hilliard explained, “Once the phone was extinguished, I was left with a hole in my pants, fire extinguisher on my pants/shoes, and some pain/irritation in my buttocks region where the pocket of my pants was located."

      So you put your phone in the pocket where it's most likely to get sat on and bent? I've noticed a lot of people do this and it seems like it's the dumbest place to put a phone.

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        January 2, 2019 11:47 AM

        yup this was is my thought as well.. batteries don't like to get bent at all. I see way too many people putting phones in their back pocket.

        • reply
          January 2, 2019 11:51 AM

          Because you take the thing out before you sit down. I have carried my phone there for years without issue.

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