Monday, October 10, 2016

Phones On Fire

by Tony Thomas

Cell phones are catching fire.  Literally.  The recent problems with the Galaxy Note involving their lithium ion batteries has generated quite a bit of fear and concern.   And for good reason.   Spontaneous combustion is not a feature that phone buyers look for in a cell phone.
Should we be concerned that this problem will spread to other phones?  We certainly should. 

Lithium Ion batteries are powerful.   They are what give us devices that last for many hours. That is also a big part of the problem. These batteries produce power via a chemical reaction involving highly volatile lithium.  If damaged or improperly charged,  these batteries can pose a safety risk.  And with skinnier cell phone designs with increased battery life,  the design tolerances are much tighter,  thus increasing the risk.

As a result, cell phone manufacturers are going to have to decide whether it is really worth producing skinny phones that may catch on fire. 

In the interim, let the buyer beware.

The Galaxy Note 7 is Dead (from The Verge):

Why the Galaxy Note 7 Catches Fire (from CNet):