An Australian surfing instructor has told 7 News that an iPhone 7 left in a car caught fire, destroying the vehicle.

Mat Jones says he had left the phone under clothes in his car while taking a surf lesson. When he returned, he was shocked to discover the vehicle filled with smoke.

It hasn’t yet been confirmed that the phone was the cause of the fire: Apple says that it is aware of the incident and is investigating.

Some commentators are drawing the inevitable but spurious comparisons with Samsung’s Note 7 fires …

As we’ve recently noted, every piece of technology has a failure rate, and when lithium batteries fail, they can do so in spectacular fashion: a very rapid, intense fire known as a ‘thermal runaway.’

That there have been a number of iPhone fires over the years is in no way surprising. The overall failure rate of lithium batteries is around 1 in 10 million. When you have a billion active iOS devices, you’d expect around 100 of them to catch fire, so a handful of isolated cases is not evidence of any issue specific to the iPhone.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7, in contrast, notched-up 94 known fires in the space of just a few weeks with only 4-5M devices out there. And lest anyone think I’m giving Apple an easy ride, I’d note that I used the same stats to caution against jumping to immediate conclusions when there was just a single case of a fire in a replacement Note 7.

Via Gizmodo

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Ben Lovejoy's favorite gear