Customers and employees were forced to temporarily evacuate an Apple Store in Zurich, Switzerland after an iPhone battery overheated and emitted smoke.
There was no fireball similar to the exploding Galaxy Note 7, but the incident raises fresh concerns on the quality of batteries used in mobile devices and proper care for the components.
Overheating iPhone Battery Forces Apple Store Evacuation
An overheating battery, later determined to be that of an iPhone 6S Plus, emitted smoke inside an Apple Store in Zurich, leading to the evacuation of about 50 people. Police, fire, and ambulance emergency services were called to the scene.
The battery was covered with quartz to contain the smoke, which was then sucked out after ventilation was turned back on.
According to Zurich police, the incident happened while an Apple employee was removing the battery from the iPhone 6S Plus to make repairs. The worker sustained minor burns, but did not have to be sent to the hospital for further treatment.
Six other people also received medical care, presumably due to inhaling the smoke. They also did not need treatment beyond what was given on site.
The Zurich Forensic Institute is now in possession of the iPhone 6S Plus and the overheated battery, launching an investigation to determine the cause of the incident.
Apple has not yet issued a comment regarding what happened at the Zurich Apple Store. However, it appears that this was an isolated incident, as opposed to something as widespread as Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 fiasco.
iPhone Battery Replacement Program
According to local media, the iPhone 6S Plus was brought into the Apple Store, ironically, for a battery replacement.
The incident further adds to the recent controversy surrounding iPhone batteries. Apple confirmed last month that it throttled iPhone performance to make sure that the older batteries last longer and to prevent random shutdowns. Apple, however, claimed that it was not doing so to force customers to upgrade to the latest iPhone models.
To make things right, Apple decided to slash the costs of its battery replacement program from $79 to $29. The discount will be offered throughout 2018 and all over the world, with the program open to the iPhone 6 and later models. This was the program involved in the incident at the Zurich Apple Store.
The headaches, however, continue for Apple. The company has been served with several lawsuits for intentionally downgrading the performance of older iPhones, while also possibly losing $10 billion in iPhone sales due to the cheaper battery replacement program.