Myth of "Exploding Droid X Phone" Busted: why battery and capacitor did NOT explode next to ear! It wasn't the speaker!

Really? Phone Exploded?

On December 3rd, 2010, news spread that a man in Texas, Aron Embry, was wounded by an exploding Droid 2. Quoting the news from the Daily Mail...

Aron Embry, 30, from Texas, said he was getting in his car to travel to work when he decided to make a call.

In the middle of his conversation the phone 'burst outward' injuring the side of his face, he claimed.

Should you return your Motorola smart phone immediately? No. Let me explain why.

Droid 2 that allegedly exploded, but did it?
Droid 2 that allegedly exploded, but did it? | Source

The Impossibility of Physics

Only two items can explode inside a phone: the battery, and any capacitors on the circuit board. Those are the only items that STORE energy, and thus, have any potential to explode.

So are there any capacitors inside near the top? Fortunately, someone had disassembled a Droid 2 on iFixit, and there are NO capacitors in or near that location based on the disassembly. The only thing at that area is the speaker. Look at step 10 and 19.

So could it be the battery? If you look back at step 5, you will find that the battery is in the BOTTOM of the phone. (The camera is on top, and the phone's being held upside down). So it can't be the battery either. (I have the original Droid, I would know) And the damage... is on the TOP.

Thus, the damage shown in the picture CANNOT be produced from within the phone. The picture shows NO bursting of any sort from the phone.

Further check of the story confirms the facts: the man FINISHED the call. If any capacitor or battery had actually ruptured, the phone would have stopped working immediately. To quote again:

'I just heard a pop. At first I didn't know what to think', Mr Embry said adding that he then noticed blood trickling down his neck and saw broken glass on the phone's speaker.

Although the phone itself was left intact, the screen was ruined.

Also, look at the photo of the alleged damage: it is right around the hole in the glass, the weak area.

Finally, consider the following facts... when is the phone most likely to have the most energy? When it is at FULL POWER, after it's being charged. THAT is when it is most likely to "explode". NOT when it is being used and the power is being used up.

Thus, the phone could NOT have exploded.

So What Really Happened?

There are two possibilities that I see:

1) Mr. Embry had dropped the phone earlier, which had weakened the glass around that weak spot in the glass. When a loud noise or pressure was applied, the glass cracked, and he sliced his ear on the broken glass.

Indeed, this is the unofficial explanation leaked by Motorola as given to Gearlog.

2) Mr. Embry made up the whole story, like the "Balloon Boy" dad. The fact that he drove to his wife's work place instead of to a hospital is in itself, very suspicious. From the article linked earlier...

Mr Embry said he started to panic and drove himself to a local elementary school where his wife work so she could take pictures of his injuries.

There is not sufficient evidence to go either way at this time.

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H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 5 years ago from Guwahati, India

This is what is called the syndrome of Terrorism.

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