Apple says iPhone 6 battery fires in China likely caused by external factors

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BEIJING Apple Inc said external factors were the likely cause of iPhone 6 battery fires detailed in a Chinese consumer protection report that featured widely in state media earlier this week and created a buzz on social media.

The Shanghai Consumer Council released a report on Friday detailing battery fires in eight iPhone 6 handsets. It also detailed iPhone 6 handsets powering down before their batteries are depleted – handsets outside of a global iPhone 6 recall range that Apple announced on Nov. 20 to address the issue.

“The units we’ve analyzed so far have clearly shown that external physical damage happened to them which led to the thermal event,” an Apple spokeswoman said in an emailed statement to Reuters late on Tuesday. She also said Apple was widening its investigation into the power-down issue.

The U.S. tech firm has seen Chinese sales fall over the past three quarters as domestic smartphone makers compete with high-spec handsets at low price points. It is hoping…



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