A Samsung Galaxy J5 smartphone “exploded” in France on Sunday, according to a report from Associated Press. Lamya Bouyirdane, the smartphone’s owner, said she noticed that the phone was hot while at a family gathering. Bouyirdane threw the device away when it began to smoke, before it then caught fire and its back “blew off”. The fire was later extinguished by her partner.
It’s not clear whether this was the 2015 or 2016 variant of Samsung’s Galaxy J5, though a comment from William Stofega, an analyst at research company IDC, suggests the device had been on sale for only “several months”, indicating it was the more recent edition. He also noted that this was the first report he’d encountered of the J5 catching fire.
In a statement, Samsung said it wasn’t able to comment on the incident because it was yet to properly investigate it.
Lithium-ion batteries, the likes of which are found in mobile products like smartphones, tablets and laptops, heat up when they are in use and even minor defects can result in unforeseen temperature increases in certain circumstances. It’s not yet known if J5 and Note 7 suffer from the same issue, but given that the J5 has been on the market since April, it’s possible that the problem would have been detected sooner if it was a common flaw.