Remember last month when an innocent user's Galaxy SIII was said to have spontaneously combusted? In the original post, user dillo2k10 told a harrowing tale, explaining that during a seemingly average drive, his S3 got a little too hot:
…suddenly 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. The phone kept working but without any signal.
I brought it to the carphone warehouse and they told me that they couldnt replace it for me that they had to send it off to be checked out first. No even replacement phone, left with nothing.
The phone was destroyed and it slightly burned a piece of plastic on the inside of my car. And they are refusing to give me a replacement they had to send it off. Probably nothing I can do, but Im really annoyed. That could have burned the side of my face or through my pocket and my leg, or set fire to my bed. It’s very dangerous.
Of course the story spread quickly. The Samsung Tomorrow blog was quickly updated with Sammy's official response, which promised a full investigation and (hopefully) an explanation of just what had happened.
Well, the investigation proceeded, and Samsung has updated the blog again with the official findings of a contracted third-party fire investigation.
Samsung contracted Fire Investigations UK (FIUK), an independent third-party organization, to determine the exact cause of the damage inflicted on a GALAXY SIII unit, which had allegedly been affected by heat.
The damaged device and additionally provided devices were examined and exposed to a series to tests. The investigation summary states that “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.”
Additionally, the investigation results state, "The only way it was possible to produce damage similar to the damage recorded within the owner's damaged device was to place the devices or component parts within a domestic microwave."
So there you have it. Dillo2k10's story was a phony, and the damage was caused by an ordinary microwave. This story has no doubt caused a bit of trouble for Samsung – not only in opening a full investigation but in possibly damaging the image of the manufacturer's latest flagship in the minds of some consumers. Interestingly, dillo2k10 'fessed up to the fraud in a post to boards.ie yesterday:
Galaxy SIII owners can now rest assured that, unless they nuke their phones, they aren't likely to witness any traumatic explosions from their devices. Those interested can find Samsung's official statement on this story's resolution at Samsung Tomorrow here.