Apple insists that a Beats headphone explosion wasn’t its fault

Beats explosion
An Australian woman whose Beats headphones exploded on her head as she dozed on a long-haul flight in February has been refused compensation by Apple.

The tech giant, which acquired Beats in 2014, blamed a faulty AAA battery for the incident, which left the woman with some nasty-looking burns to her face and hands.

“Our investigation indicated the issue was caused by a third-party battery,” an Apple representative said in a statement issued by lawyers for the unnamed woman, according to Adelaide Now. The name of the battery maker hasn’t been disclosed.

Some older versions of Beats headphones — such as the set used by the woman — require a pair of AAA batteries that fit into one of the cans.

The incident occurred about two hours into a flight from Beijing to Melbourne as the woman napped with her headphones on.

She described what happened in a statement to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB): “As I went to turn around I felt burning on my face. I just grabbed my face which caused the headphones to go around my neck.

“I continued to feel burning so I grabbed them off and threw them on the floor. They were sparking and had small amounts of fire.”

A flight attendant alerted by the commotion used water to put out the fire, thereby preventing what could have become an even more serious incident.

The ATSB said at the time that both the battery and its cover melted and stuck to the floor of the aircraft, adding that for the rest of the flight the passengers “endured the smell of melted plastic, burned electronics, and burned hair,” while the owner of the wrecked Beats headphones said people were “coughing and choking the entire way home.”

In response to Apple’s claim that the fire was caused by a faulty AAA battery, the woman said via her lawyers: “The headphones don’t work without batteries, yet nowhere on the headphones — or their packaging — did it specify which brand of batteries should be used.”

It’s not clear if the woman is intending to continue her action against Apple, but the tech company, for one, is adamant that the Beats device itself was not the cause of this highly unfortunate incident.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: inflatable backpacks and robotic submarines

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix in August, from ‘Dark Tourist’ to 'Disenchantment'

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in August 2018, from ‘Her’ to ‘Jurassic Park’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, subdued humor, or anything in between.
Deals

The Beats Solo3 wireless headphones are on sale from Walmart for $150 off

If you've been eyeballing a pair of Beats headphones and trying to sniff out a deal, then you're in luck. Walmart just slashed the price of the Beats Solo3 wireless headphones to just $150, bringing it down to about half of its retail cost.
Mobile

Sixth public beta of iOS 12 still lacks one key feature

At this year's Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple unveiled its latest operating system, iOS 12. From app updates to group FaceTime, ARKit 2.0, and more, here are all the new features in iOS 12.
Computing

Australian student hacks into Apple, steals 90GB of data because he’s a ‘fan’

A 16-year-old student in Australia broke into Apple’s network multiple times for an entire year to download 90GB of “secure” data and access customer accounts. He did this because he was a "fan."
Deals

Best Buy slashes the price of the iPad Mini 4 for its anniversary sale

Whether you're loyal to Apple or Android, the Best Buy anniversary sale has an offer you'll want to think about. From now until Saturday August 18, you can save $125 off the iPad Mini 4.
Mobile

Is your smartphone frozen? Here's how to reset your iPhone

You can do a lot with an iPhone, but if you ever run into an issue with it, the first thing you should do is restart it. In this guide, we tell you how to reset your iPhone, and explain how it differs from a factory reset.
Deals

Best Buy drops the price of MacBooks for its anniversary sale

It's not every day you see a MacBook sale like this, so you'll definitely want to consider these savings -- especially if you're a student. Students can save an additional $150 just by signing up for Best Buy student deals.
Deals

Walmart Back to College sale: Save big on computers, TVs, tablets, and more

Walmart's Back to College sale is your chance to score big discounts on name-brand electronics, so whether you're getting ahead of the new school year or just doing some shopping, we've picked out the best deals that can save you hundreds…
Mobile

How to find a lost phone, whether it's Android, iPhone, or any other kind

Need to know how to find a lost phone? Here, we’ll help you locate your lost or stolen phone using both native and third-party apps and services, whether it’s a smartphone or an older variety.
Computing

These 30 apps are absolutely essential for Mac lovers

There are literally hundreds of thousands of great software programs compatible with MacOS, but which should you download? Look no further than our list of the best Mac apps you can find for the latest MacOS and how they can help out your…
Computing

New Apple MacBook may appear in September at $1,200

Apple may reveal new products in September including an entry-level 13-inch MacBook based on Intel’s seventh-generation processors. Apple originally intended these units to rely on Intel’s now-delayed 10nm “Cannon Lake” processors.
Mobile

AirDrop makes sending files to Apple devices easy -- here's how

Want to send files or photos to your friends when you're standing directly beside them? Instead of texting or emailing, why not learn how to use AirDrop? Here's everything you need to know about using AirDrop on both iOS and MacOS.