I was just wondering whether to finally sacrifice my loyal and beautiful Nokia cell phone for something more contemporary when I discovered that a couple of days ago China experienced its ninth cell phone explosion since 2002.
In the latest, a sales associate in a computer store in Guangzhou apparently charged his new cell phone battery and put the phone into his shirt pocket. It then exploded, severing his neck artery. He bled to death.
Update, October 12, 2016: This story has resurfaced in the wake of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 battery fires, and commenters have since pointed out that a phone may not have been to blame. It appears that the man may have actually been killed when his home-made pistol exploded, according to The Guardian.
Original story continues:
Chinese police have not declared the make of the phone or of its battery. But both Nokia and Motorola have denied links to problem batteries in China, declaring them to be the creation of counterfeiters.
Look, I am the ambassador of the normal, slightly tech-skeptic street person on this site. And, because I know clever technological people read this blog, I would be interested to hear how it is that cell phones can blow people to death.
I would very much like to know the chances of such an event occurring in the United States. And I would be very much soothed to have some sense (you know, some odds or at least a semblance of an over/under) whether one brand of cell phone might be more likely to blow up in my face rather than another.
I am extremely sad that an unfortunate employee lost his life because of an apparent cell phone battery malfunction.
And I would like to head to my trusty, if occasionally shifty, AT&T superstore, armed with all the available information that would minimize my chances of being offed while texting sweet nothings and requests for money.
I cannot believe for a moment that any US cell phone might be prone to such a murderous occurrence, but I regularly read the comments left on the blogs of fine writers such as CNET's Matt Asay and Don Reisinger and I have been consistently amazed by some of the information that comes out in these forums.
So please, put my mind at rest. It might, at the very least, make AT&T some money. Unless you tell me to change to Sprint or Verizon, of course.