Page last updated at 13:45 GMT, Friday, 28 August 2009 14:45 UK

Apple denies 'exploding' iPhones

iphone (AP)
The iPhone's lithium ion batteries are thought to be to blame

A number of iPhones that reportedly "exploded" in France were not due to the battery overheating as had been suggested, Apple has said.

The firm said that all of the handsets they had seen with broken screens were caused by an "external force".

Watchdogs had launched investigations after reports of iPhones that had exploded or cracked spontaneously.

France's top trade official is meeting with the financial director of Apple France to discuss the claims.

Herve Novelli, secretary of state for trade and consumer affairs, said he would question Apple's Michel Coulomb about the "causes of the implosion of these devices and eventual measures they could take," according to AP.

Consumers in the UK, Holland and Sweden had reported similar problems.

"To date, there are no confirmed battery overheating incidents for iPhone 3GS and the number of reports we are investigating is in the single digits," Apple said in a statement.

Apple has sold 26 million iPhones and 200 million iPods to date.

"The iPhones with broken glass that we have analysed to date show that in all cases the glass cracked due to an external force that was applied to the iPhone."

But Frank Benoiton, of Acheres-la-Foret in France, said his wife's iPhone had cracked without warning last week and denied he or his wife were to blame.

"It was not dropped and experienced no unusual shock," he told AP.

On Tuesday, a 26-year-old security guard has claimed that he was hit in the eye with a glass shard when his iPhone screen cracked up.

The recent cases prompted French watchdog DGCCRF to investigate the complaints.

The European Commission also used its Rapex system to issue an alert to its 27 member states about the problem.

Rapex is the EU rapid alert system for dangerous consumer products.

The system issue alerts for multiple products every week, sometimes leading to mass product recalls, but often with no consequence.

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