Beware the Exploding iPhone!

Don't let it get away!

Keep track of the stocks that matter to you.

Help yourself with the Fool's FREE and easy new watchlist service today.

In what seems like a not-terribly-funny spoof of the 1960s TV series, Mission: Impossible, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) is investigating reports of cracked, overheating, and even exploding iPhones across Europe. ("This smartphone will self-destruct ...")

France has been the epicenter for many of the incidents, Bloomberg News reports, no doubt thanks to a distribution agreement with France Telecom (NYSE: FTE  ) . Yet customers across the continent appear to have been affected. EU regulators began asking Apple for safety information two weeks ago.

Apple, for its part, told Bloomberg that there are no confirmed reports of overheating and the number of complaints it is investigating remains in the single digits. In cases where iPhone screens have apparently cracked or even shattered, a spokesperson implied that Apple wasn't at fault. 

"In all cases the glass cracked due to an external force that was applied to the iPhone," Alan Hely, a London-based spokesman for Apple Europe, told Bloomberg.

If that sounds like blame shifting to you, it may be. But there's precedent for doing so in Apple's case. In 2006, defective Sony (NYSE: SNE  ) batteries were behind overheating incidents that affected Dell (Nasdaq: DELL  ) , Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) , and Apple laptops.

Regulators thus far haven't disputed Apple's claims. Yet this also wouldn't be the first time exploding phones have caused a stir. In 2005, a Thai man sued Nokia (NYSE: NOK  ) for the local currency equivalent of $26,000 after his handset exploded while working near power lines. At the time, the incident was one of 20 confirmed cases of exploding Nokia phones.

So Apple has company. And because of history, and the iPhone's popularity, investors can expect the EU to take this investigation very seriously.

Get your clicks with related Foolishness:

Apple is a Stock Advisor selection. Dell and Nokia are Inside Value picks. France Telecom is an Income Investor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers had stock and options positions in Apple and a stock position in Nokia at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. The Fool's disclosure policy explodes in the presence of lazy disclosure.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 974755, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/22/2016 3:13:37 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 5 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,145.71 -16.64 -0.09%
S&P 500 2,141.16 -0.18 -0.01%
NASD 5,257.40 15.57 0.30%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/21/2016 4:00 PM
AAPL $116.60 Down -0.46 -0.39%
Apple CAPS Rating: ****
DELL.DL $0.00 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Dell CAPS Rating: *
HPQ $13.80 Down -0.30 -2.13%
HP CAPS Rating: ***
NOK $4.92 Down -0.08 -1.60%
Nokia CAPS Rating: **
ORAN $15.23 Down -0.02 -0.13%
Orange CAPS Rating: ****
SNE $32.11 Down -0.61 -1.86%
Sony CAPS Rating: ***