A Florida man says one of his Apple AirPods started smoking as he was working out at a St. Petersburg gym.
Jason Colon didn’t actually see his AirPod burst into flame, because he took the device out of his ear and left it on a piece of gym equipment to seek help. But when Colon returned, the AirPod had popped open, and char marks turned parts of the white plastic grey.
“I didn’t see it happen, but, I mean, it was already fried,” Colon told local television station WFLA TV.
WFLA reached out to Apple after Colon told his story. An Apple spokesperson told the station that the company is investigating the situation.
This is the first time AirPods have made headlines for exploding, so it doesn’t appear to be a widespread issue. A search of Apple’s support forums turned up two reports of AirPods growing warm or hot after 30 minutes of use.
Personally, I have owned a pair of AirPods for more than a year and have worn them daily without any sign of battery issues. But devices with lithium-ion batteries have been known to explode in the past.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 is a prime example — the company had to recall its flagship smartphone altogether after multiple devices blew up. Apple’s AirPods have three lithium-ion batteries: one in each earbud, and another in the charging case.