Several media sources have reported an incident at the end of last month, when a Canberra Vodafone store was evacuated after a demo iPad apparently exploded. Initial reports said it was an iPad Air, due to go on sale for the first time a couple of days later.
Vodafone Australia’s spokesperson Geeke van der Sluis (whose parents clearly intended him for a life in the tech industry…) has been quoted as claiming a display model caught on fire while it was attached to the iPad charging port. Smoke filled the store and sparks flew, leading to the arrival of the fire brigade and evacuation of the store. There were no injuries.
In a typically dramatic account of the events, the UK’s Daily Mail online wrote: “As the store filled with smoke, firemen rushed to the store and put out the fire… the new model iPad Air… was completely destroyed, the appearance of its frame suggesting it had suffered from extreme heat.”
As is now standard practice by Apple, a company representative visited the store and collected the tablet in question for testing, but the Cupertino California company has issued no formal statement as yet.
This morning Forbes.com reported that there is now some confusion about the actual device involved, saying, “Sources in Australia are now unclear on what exact model of iPad was involved in the incident.”
There have been several reports over the last couple of months of electric shocks suffered by people using iPhones and chargers, such as the July death of Chinese former air steward Ma Ailun, the unnamed Chatswood woman in July and the UK’s Tim Gillooley in August, but this is the first time an iPad has been involved in such an incident.