Motorola Believes their DROID 2 Didn’t Go “Boom” in Man’s Ear



Last week, we questioned a story on Fox news in Dallas where a man claimed his Motorola DROID 2 exploded in his ear, causing him to get cut and forcing him to the emergency room. We questioned it: things just didn’t add up. We expected Motorola wouldn’t outright say “you’re right, our phone is hazardous. Here’s a bazillion dollars!” And they didn’t:

[T]he only things that could explode in a phone would have resulted in a phone that did not work, yet this phone worked. And there was no explosive damage to the device (things inside blown outward, etc).

Sounds a lot like what I said last week:

What do you guys think? I’ve never heard of a phone just “exploding” (except for the iPhone, but I have my reservations on that, too), and the damage area just doesn’t make sense. The processor, GPU, and battery are nowhere near the apparent point of “explosion”, and even if they were, I’m certain a “blast” would do more damage to the backside of the phone than the face of it. If any blast did occur, the CPU or GPU would be the most plausible culprits [in that area of the phone]: why is the phone still working? And what are the chances that it would happen as he was talking on the phone?

And there you have it. This is turning into something like a good soap opera. Can’t wait to see what the bloody ear man has to say about this!

[Gearlog via Droid-Life]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Isn’t the only explosive part the battery? What else could possibly explode?

  2. You can see the origin of all the cracks are around the earpiece spidering out. and i tlooks like he took a lighter to it, the burn marks are surface marks, they go from the glass to the plastic….

    He broke his phone and wanted a free one….

  3. That had to have been one loud voice on the other end!

  4. That’s why it’s suspicious @ Robbert. Beside the battery, only the GPU and CPU could “explode”. And given the EXTREMELY slim chances of that happening, it’s unlikely that’s the case. If you remember the teardown for the Droid 2, the CPU and GPU are a few centimeters lower than the “blast” point. If anything, the camera sensor is the only thing that could “explode” and cause that sort of damage, and that’s definitely not possible.

  5. I call bunk!

  6. I think those are blood stains on the screen and plastic. It looks like it but I could be wrong. It definitely looks like the cracks came from the earpiece. If he didn’t drop it then somthing impacted it there or someone tried prying at it. He failed by showing an android. If it was an iphone it would have been more believable :P just feeding the trolls lol.

  7. In fact, I don’t think a CPU or GPU could explode period. I could be wrong.

  8. Maybe it was an angry bird that became too explosive-y

  9. Hope the motherfucker gets arrested and put in jail.. actually I take that back because then i’d be picking up the tab for his daily food intake.

    Let him a pay fine and let go of his ass, he’s costing us money every minute.

  10. Davos’ explanation is more believable than the clown that’s trying to cash in from Motorola.

  11. I highly doubt ANY of this. Although its not a phone…I was bored and took a heat gun (800ºF – 1100ºF) to a DVD Player to see how much heat the circuit boards could take. The capacitors popped (which I dont even think we have in cell phones). The actual on-bard chips were subjected to the heat gun for atleast 1-3 minutes of torture. Those chips didnt even blister, smoke or even turn brown. The actual circuit board got a little funky looking.

    I call BS 10000%

  12. Good point, Davos. He should have gone after Rovio instead of Moto.

  13. How about if the phone was charging while he was talking on it. I’ve noticed my N1 gets extremely hot under those circumstances. But I also don’t believe his phone exploded. Looks like he dropped it, causing the cracks, and it slid across the floor, causing those scrapes around the earpiece. I’m not sure about those burn marks. They do look like if he used a lighter, as someone previously mentioned.

  14. I think this guy is looking to get paid and this story is completely bogus. The area where this phone “exploded” is highly nunlikely. The battery exploding is a slim possibility but it IS possible. That being said, there is NO evidence from the pictures that show this had anything to do with the battery. This guy is a loser and out to make a quick buck. I hope he gets caught and has the book thrown at him.

  15. have you ever seen a phone that can take out your enemies at close range with explosive results? droid does.

    yeah, i think im seeing a new commercial out of this.

  16. The biggest crap is that the local news picked this up.

  17. Im thinking his wife cracked him upside his head with the phone because this guy is clearly an idiot!

  18. My captivate can still fart! That’s what’s up!

  19. I wish I could see a bigger/higher res version of this pic to test a theory.

    The only likely reason I can think of the phone to “explode” by the earpiece there is due to a stress fracture. You could potentially see an “explosive” type result that would lead to a bloody ear and a still working phone if there was some imperfections in the glass near the earpiece and the glass was properly torqued. The problems I can think of is it’d take a decent amount of force to crack the glass, even with minor imperfections, and it wouldn’t result in a spidering pattern like the one in the pic (most notably you wouldn’t see the pattern cross the earpiece like that). I do have a theory on how to disprove it, but I can’t see near well enough in that pic to tell.

  20. Ive taken my droid 2 apart after trying to root it the first time. and the way it exploded just isnt in line with any of the combustible components inside. Not only that its on the slider side of things nothing but electonics on that side

  21. He wanted a new phone so he decided to bash his phone with his ear…

  22. SHENANIGANS!!!!!!!

  23. I’m guessing the guy tripped and fell while talking on his phone….and one little lie…..well turned into one big lie that went way too far. Good for entertainment value though.

  24. Blood Splatter is wrong. Firstly, there is blood above the point of the supposed “explosion”. This indicates blood pooling. This would only happen if the guy was lying down on the phone and held the phone against his ear for several seconds after being cut. Also, the angle of blood parallel to the screen edge. Hold a phone to your ear as if you are talking. You will find it will be held at an angle of at least 45 degrees. This would cause blood to flow diagonally across the screen from the point of injury and not paralell to the screen edge.

    I have no doubt the screen is cracked and the mans ear was cut. Are the two events related, no. The Blood has been added after.

    /end CSI

  25. God Told Him to “Hang Up And Drive”

  26. I love the giant Droid 2 ad below the article lol. I hope moto sues this guy.

  27. Perhaps he tried to call Chuck Norris and this is what happened when he answered?

  28. Firecracker. Mystery Solved.

  29. In soviet Russia, ear blow up on phone.

  30. The battery can explode (one user even died there some years ago when a 3rd party low end battery exploded, also N…. had some bad stories about exploding phones and got sued), capacitors can explode too (is the earpeace capacitor based in that phone?), dust or dirt from manufacturing can cause a shortcut causing some other element to be overloaded, …

    Having said that it is still highly improbable to happen.


  31. Lol Chuck Norris FTW!!!!

  32. Maybe the ear speaker popped??

  33. Obviously a meteor strike! Stranger things have happened.

  34. If you watch the video, watch his eyes he is lying for sure.

  35. It was McFly’s boss from back to the future II.

    McFly!!! Read my text. You’re Fired!!!!!!! (company phone disabled and exploded)

  36. @Mark: Great analysis of the pic. I totally agree with what you said. In addition, the phone still works which tells us and everyone else that internal components did NOT explode. So, could it have been the glass just shattering from being tweaked? Look at where the earpiece is, there is a gap in the glass for the sound to travel. If there was a point where the glass cracked from being tweaked then we would see a point of origination. But as you can see, there is damage to both the top and bottom of the earpiece opening which tells me something outside the phone caused this. Not the phone itself. Something impacted that screen.

  37. Everyone is forgetting the biggest debunker of all – This phone is a slider. The only things on that side of the device are the screen, speaker, and some light sensors/led bulbs. If the battery or processor WERE to explode, they’d have to blow straight through the device, keyboard, backside of second slide layer, screen, and THEN the glass. Not to mention that the phone still works….. This is the most ridiculous hoax I’ve heard in a while…

  38. wow.. the nonsense assumptions people make, sad and amazing at the same time. i’m not even going to quote the tons of bs. if you don’t know anything, don’t just go and assume things based on your weird perception of the world combined with whatever you saw on tv (i.e. csi). i bet nobody who came up with his very own ‘analysis’ ever saw what his phone looked like on the inside or – if they did – can tell a diode from a capacitor.

  39. I think Moto’s quote touches on this: notice the plastic underneath the glass is barely damaged?

  40. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
    Go back to school, hillbilly!

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