back to article Owner alleges iPhone 3G became red hot

A German Swiss man has alleged his recently purchased iPhone 3G mysteriously overheated, almost to the point of catching fire, he said. After an unsuccessful attempt to sync the three-week-old handset with his PC, the fellow discovered the device to have become very hot, he told Swiss German-language site 20 Minutes. So hot, …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Hardly surprising...

    ...when the original gets pretty damned hot depending on what you're doing.

    Paris, because she can get pretty hot depending on what you're doing with her.

  2. Hugh
    Thumb Up


    'Under fire'? Nice one! :-)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    Hmmm... looks more like he's dropped it or damaged the casing somehow. My next guess would be that he either made up the story to get it replaced, or the overheating is real, but was caused by damage to the battery/wiring.

    If he wants to be believed, why not make some calls and take a picture of it smoldering and glowing red?

  4. Anonymous Coward

    That happens when you use the app store

    I've had that happen (well, not catching fire but getting quite hot) when the phone has a problem, usually when it gets stuck installing an app, then you go to the app store which then hangs and the back can get quite hot (more or less where the mark is in that picture). Shortly after that it will reboot.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I lol'd

    That last sentance "useless"

  6. dervheid

    The "hottest phone" around...

    Must have been the hotline!

    Best hot foot it back to his reseller.

  7. Andy Hards

    So it really is

    Hot Stuff then?

    Yeah, I'll just, um, mines the one with the growing red pocket.

  8. Andy Hards


    I meant.

  9. Andy Amiss
    Jobs Horns

    Not German but Swiss

    I think the unlucky gentleman is this instance was Swiss and not German - at least living in Switzerland. 20 Minuten is a Swiss newspaper and not a German one.

    Devil Jobs - cause I've got one of these things and it looks like I'm gonna burn

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Stupid boy...

    With the winter around the corner, why is he complaining? Apple has given him a phone as well as a pocket heater.

    I mean, with the energy prices are sky high, he can get his heating bill lowered by making sure he charges his at work.

    Sheeshhh, there is no pleasing some people.

    Flames, as it is appropriate for this article.

  11. Pavlovs well trained dog

    bloody germans, still smarting about the war

    can anyone say "I dropped my phone, and it's not insured"

  12. Tim Spence

    Red hot

    If any electrical item I'm using (apart from a toaster or similar) becomes red hot, I think I'd be more inclined to throw it away from me/switch it off rather than continue to use it and just swap it from ear to ear.

    "Hmm, this device which I use close to my skull is getting far too hot to touch. Oh well, never mind, just swap to the other ear."

  13. Anonymous Coward

    german != germany

    Here in Switzerland we do speak (among others) the german language. Our tld is .ch (as in As a swiss citizen (yes that is the same word as in cheese) i prefer not to get called german as the reg has done in so many recent articles.

  14. Stephen Melrose

    Happened To Me

    This has happened to me when I tried installing something from the App store.

    Luckily we felt it overheating and turned it off. After it cooled down, we turned it back on, and it was fine again.

    Not good though!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Hot Phones

    My last 3 Sony Ericsson phones have all got too hot to hold against my ear when on a long call (20 mins +).

    Also, El Reg, perhaps you should do some research on the supposed 3G connectivity "problems"... It's already been proven that the iPhone 3G antennae isn't to blame, and that it's more to do with the phone networks especially in densely population 3G areas.

  16. Mathew White

    Toaster != Dock

    Maybe he put the phone in the toaster thinking it was the USB dock.

    I seems a little suspect that upon the phone glowing red like a meteorite plowing through the atmosphere, he simply switched hands and ears - one would think that there would be barbecued bits of german all over that phone. <insert safari mobile cannibal joke>

  17. Gulfie

    Looking forward to winter...

    ... when I can tout my iPhone's extra feature - hand warmer - yes mine gets quite warm too. Initially I though this was during charging (not surprising with lithium batteries) but no, its also during use. It must get __quite__ warm because I can feel it through the protective case I'm using...

    Flames, well, because I hope I don't get any...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Oh really?

    "It's already been proven that the iPhone 3G antennae isn't to blame, and that it's more to do with the phone networks especially in densely population 3G areas."

    So its proven that this problem effects all mobiles, and that all 3G mobiles have this issue yet nothing is being done about it? Stands to reason that, we see articles on El Reg every day about how Nokia/Sony/Motorola/etc. have these same issues... except we don't, all its proven is iPhone users will believe any chaff which detracts from the uslessness of their overpriced chunk of pretty plastic.

  19. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton


    Ah nice to see the god phone supporters out in force , sadly really when you think about people who do understand any letter in the word "denial" .

  20. Nicholas Butler

    It happened to me

    Im on my 3rd iphone 3g so far.. the first one Burned up so hot, it burn my leg while in my pants pocket. and the battery would die after 10 minutes.. second one had a LCD screen flaw, and #3 seems fine so far..

  21. Hayden Clark Silver badge
    Jobs Horns

    Re: Hot Phones

    Whatever the technical reason behind the poor 3G performance, the phone would have failed operator testing had it not been a "kewl" device.

    3G coverage is always a bit problematic when the cell's busy - but other manufacturers seem to manage OK.

  22. Chris

    I don't know..

    I've had my iphone freeze while doing something - and get quite warm, but never anywhere near hot enough to burn or melt plastic.

    That being said, in the age of 30 megapixel digital -webcams-.. there is -no- excuse for a small fuzzy picture of damage. If you can't find anything but another iphone to take a picture of damage.. then tough luck.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    It almost happened to me...

    ... I nearly burnt a nasty hole in my wallet AND my pocket with the iPhone, until common sense prevailed and I realised it was just a phone.

  24. James O'Brien
    Paris Hilton

    Ummm. . .

    "So hot, in fact, that on making a call immediately afterward, he says he was forced to swap the phone back and forth from ear to ear to avoid discomfort."

    Maybe its just be but if I was on a phone doing that methinks something would be wrong. iPhone?? No more like iIdiot

  25. bygjohn
    Jobs Halo

    Re: Oh really?

    Well, actually I stopped worrying about the 3G reception on my iPhone after comparing notes with a friend who has a Nokia which does exactly the same thing, ie signal fluctuates up and down even when the phone is stationary.

    And the update did up the signal strength by a bar so it now varies between 0 and 5 bars (previous to the update 4 bars max).

    The difference between the iPhone 3G and the Nokia is that I've never had a dropped call on my iPhone, whereas his Nokia apparently drops loads.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ... everyone is looking at this in a bad light, what your failing to understand here that the jesus phone getting hot is a miracle to modern technology,. you turn the phone upside down and place your cup of mocha on it and it becomes a USB cupwamer that you can make a call with... and when your stuck in a queue , you choose the music you want to hear

  27. It'sa Mea... Mario

    @ AC - Hot Phones

    <quote>Also, El Reg, perhaps you should do some research on the supposed 3G connectivity "problems"... It's already been proven that the iPhone 3G antennae isn't to blame, and that it's more to do with the phone networks especially in densely population 3G areas</quote>

    Perhaps at the same time you could look into why after more than a year of working perfectly fine on 3G a phone would now only work properly on 2G? it's not an iPhone of course.

  28. DAN*tastik

    Mine's the one with asbestos pockets


  29. Daniel B.


    Phones running hot are not new, my dad's Toshiba TCP-9000 (circa 1994) did get hot after about 10-15 minutes into a call. But red hot? That's really something!

    I would usually dismiss this, but then, the Jobs-controlled Apple has a trend on not caring about overheating devices. Not even the post-1997 "kewl" Apple, either. Our 1986 Mac Plus used to overheat because God Jobs thought that fans were not "stylish" for these computers. And given how hot MacBooks run these days, it seems he still thinks so!

    Flames, 'coz that's whats happening to the german's iPhone.

  30. Matthew R.

    3rd party cases

    The iPhone pumps out a lot of heat. I notice this first when watching movies and TV shows on my first gen iPhone. The phone would act strange, after a prolong period of use. I decided heat was a real issue. I quickly dumped the 3rd party protective cover for my iPhone and let the phone breath. The back gets warm, but never as hot as it once did. I've decided that the metal back-plate on my 1st gen phone is as much a style choice as a heat sink. Covering the iPhone was just locking in the heat (and asking for trouble). The iPhone is built well enough to survive without a case or cover.

    How many of the overheating issues can be traced back to covered iPhones and 3rd party protective devices?

  31. Dave

    Re: Oh really?

    The signal of 3G fluctuates normally because the cell you are in gets smaller due to higher volumes of traffic, essentially the more traffic on the cell the smaller that cell gets. Either that or cars / lorrys in the right place can affect it and certainly weather

  32. mrdalliard

    How sad am I...

    ...when I see an Apple story and search to see if Webster's done another classic "balanced" rant?

    I really must get my coat on and get out more.

  33. DAN*tastik
    Paris Hilton

    @ the swiss Anon Coward

    The Swiss/German reference is because of this article here:

    People should not post comments before having read all the articles those at dem Register kindly donate us every given day.

    However, if you look like one, and talk like one ( and have no sense of humour either ), maybe you are German

    Paris because they speak French instead ( and I like her a lot )

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Idiot or Liar

    Idiot - if it gets too hot to hold against your face you would stop using it.

    I think he is a lying bastard.

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