Compare 8 Mobile Plans & 7 Phones to find the best deal!

iPhone repairs up in smoke

  • Dodgy iPhone 4 battery repairs
  • Lithium batteries pack power to punch
  • Authorised dealers worth their money
Written by Jessica Tekin

If you’re thinking of repairing an iPhone from an unauthorized service provider just to save some cash, then think again. Reports of handsets abruptly catching fire and smoking following repairs by unauthorized Apple dealers should be enough to make you think twice. With the safety of both you and your handset at stake, the quality and professionalism of service should be taken into the cost price repairing your iPhone.

The concern over handsets heating to combustion point began last year following an incident on a Regional Express flight, where a customer’s handset started smoking on the plane’s arrival. An investigation into the phone’s malfunction was undertaken by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB,) and found that a physical piece of hardware had been causing a short circuit which set the iPhone alight.

The ATSB concluded that a ‘small metal screw had been misplaced in the battery bay of the mobile phone; the screw puncturing the battery casing and causing an internal short circuit leading to heating and thermal runaway.’ It was later determined that the reasons for this screw’s misplacement was due to an ‘earlier repair carried out on the telephone,’ and that ‘the repair had not been conducted by an authorised service provider.’

Click here for Amaysim's deal available on iPhone 4s.

The investigation recognised that there are a great number of risks associated with the uses of ‘non-authorised agents for the repair of lithium battery-powered devices,’ with serious dangers created through the mistreatment of the batteries inside iPhone 4. Across iPhones and smartphones, lithium-ion batteries are utilised for their staying power and strong infrastructure and are common across most electronic devices as they contain ‘high specific energy.’ This is a double-edged sword, as the battery's power makes it ‘prone to thermal runaway events when short circuited, or exposed to heat.’

The REX phone post-mortem.


Click here for a Dodo plan for iPhone 4s.

In the REX case, the culprit behind the hand-held bonfire was a single screw. Following the replacement of the battery by an unauthorised Apple repairer, a screw from the outer casing was lodged at a sharp angle into the battery causing it to short-circuit.

While the enquiry raised concerns about the checking of handsets with lithium batteries on airplanes, it also highlights warnings regarding saving money by electing to use cheap unauthorised repairers. The authenticity of a repairer immediately dictates the quality in which an electrical item or person will receive, and guarantees its safety and gives the device complete company accountability.

Apple recommends most iPhone batteries can be easily replaced in an official store when under warranty. There's also the option that you can extend the warranty for another two or three years for an extra charge (great for us who are clumsy.) However for those of us out of warranty, for $107 (including shipping) Apple can arrange authorised battery placement on behalf of the company. They also say that they dispose of the batteries in an 'environmentally friendly manner,' so you can get your greenies kick on.

I know that personally I have gone to an unauthorised Apple repairer to replace a cracked screen, and I know that other friends have gone to replace their casings and have been happy with the results that were at a third of the cost of that of registered Apple repairers. However, following this enquiry, I will be re-thinking my costs with my iPhone 4 S, for both my phone and my own safety. Going to an authorised repairer gives you a guarantee that for your mobile repairs, you’re really getting what you pay for.


Recommended offers
Need help finding a plan?
Need help finding the best plan for you?
Call 1300 041 278  or fill in the form below & we will get back to you:

Need help finding a plan?

Call 1300 041 278

or fill in the form below & we will get back to you:
amaysim unlimited

Popular Phones