An iPhone 4 that began smoking and glowing on a passenger flight has been found to have been badly repaired. Thankfully, when the incident took place, the plane had already landed at Sydney airport and airline staff managed to deal with the alarming discovery. The ATSB (Australian Transport Safety Bureau) has now carried out a full investigation and discovered that the iPhone 4 had been tampered with.
The technical examinations found that a small metal screw had been misplaced in the battery bay of the mobile telephone; the screw puncturing the battery casing and causing an internal short circuit leading to heating and thermal runaway. It was probable that the screw had been misplaced during an earlier repair carried out on the telephone. That repair had not been conducted by an authorised service provider.
This was a very small incident however it could have turned into something much worse. The CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) recommends that devices like this should always be carried in the cabin and never stored in the checked-in baggage.