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UPDATE: Exploding Samsung Galaxy S3 was microwave hoax

Samsung has launched an investigation into its coveted Galaxy S3 (opens in new tab) smartphone after images emerged online showing a device that had over-heated and exploded in a user's car.

Posting on the forum, a member under the name ‘dillo2k10' claimed the malfunction happened when the S3 was sitting untouched in his car's phone holster. While he was driving, he said, "a white flame, sparks and a bang came out of the phone. I pulled in to look at my phone, the phone burned from the inside out. Burned through the plastic and melted my case to my phone."

Despite staying powered, the phone lost all of its signal and burned a piece of plastic inside the car. The shaken owner added, "That could have burned the side of my face or through my pocket and my leg, or set fire to my bed. Its very dangerous [sic]"

Showing the very apparent damage that had been caused to the phone, he went on to post the following pictures.

Keen to nip the embarrassing episode in the bud, Samsung has issued a swift statement (opens in new tab) in response, promising to explore the matter. "There have been recent online posts displaying pictures of a Samsung Galaxy S3 that appears to have heat-related damage at the bottom of the device," it reads. "Samsung is aware of this issue and will begin investigating as soon as we receive the specific product in question.

"Once the investigation is complete, we will be able to provide further details on the situation. We are committed to providing our customers with the safest products possible and are looking at this seriously."

There's been very little in the way of negative press around the Samsung Galaxy S3, after its great hype and fanfare was matched with a staggering amount of pre-orders and strong reviews (opens in new tab). It will be intriguing to see if the Koreans can leave this incident unscathed and keep the S3 juggernaut rolling.

UPDATE: 'Dillo2K10', the Galaxy S3 owner alleging the dangerous explosion, has returned to the forum tail-between-legs admitting responsibility for the incident.

In the investigation promised by Samsung, the company contracted Fire Investigations UK to uncover the exact cause of the damage, and the group's report stated, “The energy source responsible for generating the heat has been determined as external to the device” and “the device was not responsible for the cause of the fire.”

It continued, "The only way it was possible to produce [the] damage...was to place the device or component parts within a domestic microwave."

This has forced the mischievous Irish student to post a new message on the same forum, beginning, "I would like to retract my original statement." Young Dillo claimed the damage had been caused trying to fix water-damage in the device, and the "large amount of external energy" placed on the device was responsible. He adds it was a "stupid mistake".

Exemplifying why companies investigate such incidents, Samsung has seemingly left the episode with the S3's lofty reputation still intact. An important twist in the tale if the firm wishes to maintain the phone's market-dominance ahead of the impending iPhone 5 launch (opens in new tab).


Will began working life as a technology journalist at ITProPortal as Senior Staff Writer. He's worked as a Copywriter, then Creative Lead across video, social, email, web and print. He is currently a Senior Content Strategist at Zone.