Apple iPhone 5 explodes mid-call in Thailand

Normally, the spontaneous combustion of a high-end smartphone would enjoy some quality time in the spotlight, but the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4 meant that last week was far from ordinary.

One of the newsworthy nuggets lost in the frenzy surrounding Samsung's new flagship handset was the report that an Apple iPhone 5 had exploded mid-call over in Thailand.

First reported by the wonderfully named Coconuts Bangkok, local resident Suwicha Auesomsaksakul was apparently making a call on his 32GB black iPhone 5 when he noticed smoke beginning to emanate from the device.

Narrowly avoiding injury, Suwicha said he dropped his iPhone, which then popped multiple times as it exploded. The device with left with a disfigured display and a burnt out Home button (see image, top).

Suwicha indicated that he purchased the new iPhone just two months ago. Needless to say, he said he wasn't intending to make any more Apple purchases after his experience.

The incident in Thailand isn't the first case of handset users finding themselves endangered by their devices.

In February, reports surfaced drawing into question the safety of the lithium-ion batteries commonly found in smartphones, after the battery from a Samsung Galaxy Note caught fire, leaving its South Korean owner hospitalised with second degree burns. Back in June 2012, an unidentified iPhone model allegedly exploded in a 17-year-old Finnish boy's pocket.

However, some observers have expressed scepticism that the exploding Thai iPhone was linked to a hardware fault.

"Looks like he just dropped it or left in his car in the sun and is looking for a free replacement," commented Basil Papademos.

Image credit: MCOT