We’re not to blame for iPhone problems in China, says Apple

apple 2016 first quarter iphone 6s plus review camera
There are problems with the iPhone 6 and 6S devices in China. Some are randomly shutting down, while others are catching fire or exploding; but Apple says its hardware isn’t to blame.

Both the China Consumers Association (CCA) and the Shanghai Consumer Council are involved, with the former issuing a warning to Apple, demanding action from the company. Apple, however, is denying the random shutdowns extend beyond some older iPhone 6S models.

“In view that Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S series cell phones in China have a considerable number of users, and the number of people who’ve reported this problem is rather many, China Consumer Association has already made a query with Apple,” the organization says on its website. The CCA is state-approved, but it is not an official regulatory association.

The issue has affected a “considerable number” of people, according to Reuters. The devices shut down and do not turn on again, despite the battery still having about 50 to 60 percent of its juice remaining. Plugging in a charger doesn’t help, and reports suggest plugging into a computer is the only way to turn the device back on.

“After hearing reports from iPhone customers whose devices unexpectedly shut down, we thoroughly looked into these reports, and collected and analyzed devices … We looked for any other factors that could cause an iPhone to shut down unexpectedly,” said Apple in a statement. “After intensive investigations, no new factors have been identified. We will continue to monitor and analyze customer reports.”

Explosions

It’s not over for Apple, and the problems only get worse. The Shanghai Consumer Council received eight reports of exploding iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S Plus phones between October and the end of November, joining a total of 860 reports of phones randomly shutting down.

However, Apple has examined at least some of the affected phones, and said, “The units we’ve examined so far have clearly shown that external physical damage happened to them which led to the thermal event,” in a statement. “We treat safety as a top priority and have found no cause for concern with these products.”

The public’s fear of exploding smartphones has heightened after Samsung recalled and canceled the Galaxy Note 7, following a series of fires.

Tough time

Apple has been having a tough time expanding in China, due to heavy competition from Chinese smartphone manufacturers. In June, the Cupertino, California, company had to stop selling iPhone 6 devices due to complaints by another manufacturer that Apple stole its design. Apple is appealing the decision.

The iPhone maker may run into more problems next year if President-elect Donald Trump is set on erecting trade barriers with China. The country has threatened that iPhone sales will “suffer a setback” if Trump goes ahead with high tariffs on Chinese imports.

“None of the previous presidents were bold enough to launch an all-out trade war against China,” according to the state-run Global Times. “They all opted for a cautious line since it’s most consistent with the overall interests of the U.S., and it’s most acceptable to U.S. society.”

Updated on 12-07-2016 by Andy Boxall: Added news of Shanghai Consumer Council’s exploding iPhone reports, and Apple’s response.

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