Today, among other alarums and diversions, I updated the operating system software in my iPhone 6s, which I bought on 2015-11-17, to version 12.4. The update went smoothly, as did the installation of three app updates which appeared only after the system update was applied. I then listened to a 40 minute podcast whilst attending to other matters and then, when I went to plug the phone into the charger, I noticed something distinctly odd.
On the left side of of the phone (the one with the headphone jack), the screen had separated from the case by about 4 mm, forming a hump in the middle of the case. The deformation continued across the case, with a very small separation at the right side. I had noticed, over the last month or so, greater heating than usual when charging the phone, but nothing extreme or, as they say at NASA, “out of family”. I noticed no abnormal heating today, but clearly the lithium-ion battery in the phone decided to shed the shackles of its bondage within the case and burst out into the wider world. I admire its ambition, but as an inhabitant of the wider world who cherishes serenity and lack of interventions by the pompiers, feel compelled to thwart it.
First, I tried the obvious engineering solution: mashing it back into the case with my fingers. It was immediately obvious this was futile. I don’t have a hydraulic press, but even if I did, I doubt it would solve the problem. I decided to not charge the phone from now on, except when it got very low on battery, and at times when I could monitor it closely. When I’m not close to it, I keep it in a sink where, in the case of a runaway battery conflagration, I can flood it with water (which, despite what you’ve heard about lithium, is the recommended response).
This has been my last connection to the Apple ecosystem. I have just ordered a Samsung Galaxy S10 Android phone as a replacement, and will be migrating everything (manually, of course, since at Hotel Apple California, “You can check-out any time you like, but you can never leave”). I will post reports on my experiences doing this in comments here.
“We are all just prisoners here, of our own device.”