Consumer affairs minister to meet Apple over exploding iPhones

France's consumer affairs minister, Hervé Novelli, will meet Apple France commercial director Michel Coulomb for talks following several reports of iPhones spontaneously exploding. France's consumer watchdog is investigating the reports.


AFP - France's consumer affairs minister will meet a director of Apple France for talks on Friday after half a dozen cases in which iPhones are said to have spontaneously exploded or cracked up.

Herve Novelli will meet Apple France's commercial director Michel Coulomb to discuss the incidents, which are being investigated by France's competition, consumer affairs and fraud watchdog, the DGCCRF, the finance ministry said.

They will "examine what steps to take in response to the DGCCRF's questions about the implosion of these devices, and what measures the agency could take," said a statement from the ministry.

Novelli will also remind the US technology giant of its general safety obligations towards consumers.

Ten cases of "exploding iPhones" have been reported in France, including one in which a teenager suffered an eye injury, sparking calls for Apple to come clean over possible risks linked to its wildly popular smartphone.

The US technology giant, which has sold 26 million iPhones and 200 million iPod music players to date, said it been informed of the French cases but would not comment until it had examined the damaged phones.

Apple is accused of trying to hush up 15 cases of iPods heating up and bursting into flames in the United States and one similar British case, all apparently due to overheated lithium ion batteries.

None of the cases caused a serious injury but Apple was forced to defend the safety of the iPhone before the European Union this month, insisting they were "isolated incidents".

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