Apple has revealed that it is investigating multiple claims that the batteries of the iPhone 8 Plus were swelling and getting deformed as a result. This follows reports emanating mostly from Taiwan and China which allege that when the device is being charged, the battery has been swelling causing the iPhone 8 Plus to crack open. There have also been cases reported in Greece and Canada but the total number of reports is under a dozen and this is tiny in light of the fact that millions of the device have been sold already.

In some cases the device was being shipped with the issue and this was rendering the device unusable from the word go. According to some battery industry analysts, the reports could suggest an underlying issue in the battery of the iPhone 8 Plus.

Fundamental issue

“[Swelling is] very unusual for a brand-new battery and leads toward the direction of there’s something fundamentally wrong with this battery,” Cairn Energy Research Advisors’ managing director, Sam Jaffe, said.

According to Jaffe a limit on lithium-ion batteries has been reached by the smartphone sector and this has led to designs which increase the risk of short-circuiting as manufacturers try to increase the amount of power stored in regular-size batteries. There is no information however on whether only a couple of devices are experiencing the problem or it involves a whole supply chain.

Safety mechanism

So far there has been no report of the iPhone 8 Plus battery exploding and this could be an indication that Apple has developed a safety mechanism which is preventing this from happening. This is a lesson that could have been learnt following the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 debacle.

After the exploding-batteries saga Samsung has been working on new battery technology and is said to be readying solid-state batteries. These kinds of batteries are known to possess lower chances of exploding. Water-based zinc batteries have also been developed by researchers and these are believed to be safer for use since they contain no lithium. The zinc material in these batteries ensures the even distribution of electric current which prevents dendrites from forming in the battery after charging excessively. These dendrites are the reason batteries swell.