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Guess what, it’s really not a good idea to bite a smartphone battery

Un hombre muerde un iPhone y el teléfono explota
Here is a public service announcement: Do not bite your smartphone battery. Really, it’s just not worth it. It could turn nasty. And the consequences may involve a trip to the operating room for a bit of facial reconstruction.

How do we know this? Because a guy in China did just that and the whole darn thing exploded in his face.

The horrific incident took place inside an electronics store last Friday and was caught on a security camera (above). The man had taken his iPhone in for a battery replacement but wanted to be sure the new battery was genuine, according to Taiwan News.

It’s not clear if the man thought it might be made of chocolate, or indeed where he got the idea that biting it would confirm the battery’s authenticity, but, well, he went right ahead and sunk his teeth into it. And it seems he bit so hard that the battery really didn’t like it at all, and it exploded right in his face.

Multiple news outlets have since reported that the man escaped (somehow) without injury. We have to guess that seriously singed eyebrows don’t count as an injury.

Taiwan News suggests the bite caused a “catastrophic rupture” to the battery’s casing, leading to a fireball that engulfed not only the man but several other people who were standing around him.

Following the recent controversy over the way Apple handles dying iPhone batteries, the tech giant promised to slash the price of a replacement from $79 to $29 for many iPhone models. Chinese electronics stores, Taiwan News reports, are “notoriously replete with fake goods,” so the man was merely trying to establish whether the one he was about to pay for was the real deal.

We have no idea whether the battery was genuine, as you’re just not supposed to grip any lithium-ion battery between your teeth like you’re having an X-ray at a dental clinic.

While rare — and even without any particular encouragement like biting — lithium-ion batteries inside tech devices have been known to explode without warning.

Hoverboards, for example, have racked up plenty of negative headlines over the last few years after cheap devices with sub-par batteries flooded the market, while Samsung had to abandon its Galaxy Note 7 handset in 2016 over battery fire issues. And let’s not forget this poor guy in a Manhattan store in 2016 whose exploding e-cigarette created an impromptu fireworks display for those nearby.

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
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