Apple

Apple responds to claims that multiple older iPhones have gone up in flames

Illustration photo.

Illustration photo.  (REUTERS/Dado Ruvic)

A Chinese consumer group that's "loosely" affiliated with the government said it has received eight reports from iPhone 6 users who own devices that have caught fire spontaneously. That's not the greatest news for Apple at this time, considering the iPhone battery performance issues it's already dealing with. But before you start to jump to conclusions, it's important to make it crystal clear that no, iPhones do not have a serious battery problem like the Galaxy Note 7.

All battery-powered devices have a theoretical risk of explosion. It happens very infrequently with most devices, which is why it was immediately apparent that the Galaxy Note 7 has a more serious issue -- dozens of users reported unusual overheating and explosions immediately after the phone launched. Samsung ultimately had to admit defeat and cancel the handset two months after its release.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Shanghai's Consumer Council is the group that issued the third battery-related complaint against Apple in China. The previous two concern spontaneous iPhone shutdowns even when there's still plenty of juice left in the device.

Apple responded and stated that it has analyzed the affected iPhone 6 units and determined that the fires were caused by "external physical damage." The company also instructed customers to visit an Apple store or contact company support if they experience any issues with their iPhones.

"We appreciate that customers are more concerned than ever about the performance and safety of batteries in their mobile devices," an Apple statement reads.

Even so, Apple's battery troubles are far from over in the region. Earlier this week, Apple acknowledged that its iPhone 6s battery drain problem is more widespread than initially believed, saying that a software update might fix it. The company offers a free iPhone 6s battery replacement program, but it's not available to all iPhone 6s users in the region.

Meanwhile, local consumer groups say that older iPhone models and iPhone 6s units not covered by the program are also affected by the same spontaneous shutdowns.