A video of an iPhone 7 Plus catching fire has gone viral, with some drawing comparisons with early Samsung Galaxy Note 7 fires.

This is not the first time that an iPhone has caught fire, and it won’t be the last. But as we’ve noted before, it’s important to view such incidents in perspective …

There are a couple of points to note. First, in some incidents, investigation showed that there was an obvious cause for a fire – such as using a dangerous third-party charger. Safety tests on 400 fake Apple chargers last year revealed that a staggering 99% are dangerous. Other fires have resulted from leaving phones in cars in extremely high temperatures, and impact damage puncturing the battery.

Second, even where there is no obvious cause, lithium batteries – like any other component – have a failure rate. That rate is rather low at around 1 in 10 million, but when there are more than a billion active iOS devices, that means we can statistically expect more than 100 devices worldwide to spontaneously burst into flames.

With Samsung’s Note 7, the damning evidence was not that a few devices caught fire – that’s to be expected as you hit large numbers – but rather than it kept happening, and that the percentage was way beyond statistical happenstance. Unless that happens with the iPhone 7 Plus, there’s nothing to see here, folks.

Oh, and lest any Android fans accuse me of any double-standard here, I’d observe that I made exactly the same point about Samsung last year. As we now know, the replacement devices later turned out to be dangerous – but I urged then the same caution of not jumping to conclusions from a single fire.

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

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

Ben Lovejoy's favorite gear