Apple claims exploding Beats headphones ‘not our fault’

Chris Mills

Exploding electronics are a, uh, hot topic lately. Between the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 recall and an epidemic of exploding hoverboards, people are more aware than ever that things with batteries go up in flames occasionally.

So for Apple, being associated with any fire is a bad thing. In the case of a woman whose Beats heaphones exploded on a plane, Apple is going to pains to point out that it’s not Apple’s fault.

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As the Australian Associated Press reports, a woman from Adelaide was on a flight from Beijing to Melbourne earlier this year when her Beats headphones exploded. She was napping on the flight, but was awoken “by the sound of an explosion and a burning sensation on her face.”

That model of Beats headphones reportedly used AAA battery cells, which are not supplied with the headphones. Apple claims that its investigation shows the third-party batteries were at fault, but the woman who was burned alleges that since there were no instructions on what brand of battery to use, Apple should bear some responsibility. “The headphones don’t work without batteries, yet nowhere on the headphones – or their packaging – did it specify which brand of batteries should be used,” she told the AP.

With no more information, it’s difficult to second-guess Apple’s position here. But more important than apportioning blame for this specific incident is how hard Apple appears to be pushing back. In this kind of situation, it’s more common for a company to express regret, and maybe come to some kind of quiet settlement. But with exploding batteries such a big deal these days, Apple doesn’t even want the appearance of a mistake.

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