WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami) — Could your cell phone be a ticking time bomb?

More and more cases are popping up, with problems concerning expanding lithium batteries.

According to tech experts, the older your smart phone, the greater the chance the battery could be set to explode.

Fred Smiliansky went to bed with his iPhone plugged in, but woke up with his smartphone in pieces. The lithium battery apparently puffed up and became much larger compared to a normal iPhone battery.

“I saw the phone was in pieces,” said Smiliansky. “The battery inside actually expanded to the point that the screen popped out, the buttons popped out and I was kind of concerned because can you imagine if this happens when you’re on the phone, by your ear? Or in your pocket.”

Smilianksy normally charges the phone next to his baby’s crib.  He said safety was the last thing on his mind when it comes to his smart phone.

“It makes me think that I’m lucky, it makes me think that Apple should do something about it,” said Smilianksy.

“We brought the exploded iPhone to an Apple repair store, uBreakiFix in Boca,” said Smilianksy.

Jake Earp, the manager, said this is one of the most common problems he sees for iPhones.

The lithium batteries expand due to overcharging. Earp advises that using generic chargers is a contributing factor toward battery deterioration.

Normally when a battery is charged, the charger will cut off power.  But, cheaper knock off chargers will sometimes continue to push voltage- possibly triggering a massive meltdown.

“They start getting too hot when they get overcharged. They start taking too many charges and the gasses start to expand. It will actually push the motherboard right out of the phone and sometimes break the back,” said Earp. “About a year after being plugged in, plugged out charging overnight starts to ruin the battery.”

Now, Smilianski will always have a nerve-wracking thought in the back of his mind.

Tech experts said this is not exclusively an Apple problem. All small electronics like tablets, laptops, and other smart phones have had similar issues.

Repair technicians recommend using name brand chargers. Sometimes cheaper brands fail to limit power going to your battery, oftentimes compromising the battery.


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