The aesthetic appeal, usefulness, and value for money of a consumer-focused product are somewhat subjective. Different people like different things. However, it’s almost universally agreed that no product show spontaneously explode whilst in use.

Unfortunately, that’s what appears to have happened to Florida resident Jason Colon whilst using his Apple AirPods at an LA Fitness center in St. Petersburg.

It’s absolutely never acceptable for any device to suffer this fate but when smartphones or tablets have issues, such as the highly publicised problems with Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7, it’s almost accepted to a degree because of the sheer volumes of units made and the large lithium-ion batteries included. However, it’s probably fair to suggest that no one would expect a set of AirPods to explode into pieces, least of all Jason Colon, who was wearing them at the time, as reported by WFLA.

The NBC-affiliated channel is reporting that the owner of the AirPods was enjoying listening to a musical dance mix through the AirPods at his local LA Fitness center when he noticed white smoke billowing out from the right unit. Upon noticing that, Colon did what any reasonable person would do: removed the AirPods from his ears, placed them down on a flat piece of gym equipment, and looked to try and seek some help or advice. When he returned, he was shocked to find that the right unit had popped open leaving individuals components laid out on the equipment.

If the AirPods did indeed explode after the initial smoke issue then it would appear that the owner did the right, and safe, thing by removing them from his ear and getting himself to safety. It seems that the imagery of the device, as well as the description of what happened, are consistent with something similar to thermal runaway.

This type of failure certainly isn’t uncommon and has been faced by other manufacturers who produce electronic equipment. However, what caused this particular failure of the AirPods is unknown at the moment.

Apple is currently investigating the problem and has suggested that it will contact the AirPods owner in due course in order to do an autopsy and to try and get to the root of the issue.

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