Latest iPhone still no match for Nokia flaming cell phone

(Welcome to this week’s edition of Flashback Sunday, that special day we travel back in time and highlight posts you’ve probably never read because (a) All six of my followers back then turned out to be debt collectors, or (b) I was still accidentally posting everything to my “about” page. This week’s Flashback was inspired by the latest iPhone release, which seems to be getting mixed reviews by consumers who, coincidentally, have been unable to call from their new phones to lodge a complaint. Keep in mind this is still better than the Nokia cell phone issue which, as you may remember, included suddenly bursting into flames — again, making lodging a complaint extremely difficult…)

Being a journalist, I naturally received an advanced preview of the new iPhone5, which I was told came from a reputable dealer somewhere in Costa Rica.
Technology is great.

Except when it explodes in your pants.

I’ve never really liked cell phones to begin with. Now that they’ve started self-detonating, I like them even less. According to a news article sent in by Dan Collins of Alpharetta, Ga., Nokia has launched an investigation into why, once again, two of its cell phones burst into flames.

And yes — I said AGAIN.

As you might expect, demand for Nokia cell phones has dipped slightly as a result of these incidents. That’s because luxuries like instant text messaging, computer games and video imaging don’t mean much if your cell phone suddenly ignites into flames, turning your morning commute into a flaming lap dance and an appearance on The World’s Wildest Police Chases.

That said, I was hoping the new iPhone5 offered a feature that would allow you, as a cell phone customer, the option of imploding someone else’s cell phone with the press of a button when the situation warrants it …

“Hello? That’s okay — the movie just started. What? Really? NO WAY! And what did SHE say?”

“WARNING! Self-destruct sequence has been initiated by someone in your area! Beginning countdown! Five..! Four..!”

“Hey, I’ll have to call you back from my Mom’s phone? Mine’s about to implode.”

While Nokia officials are blaming defective batteries as the root cause of Exploding Cell Phone Syndrome, I have to disagree. The fact is, cell phones are simply being asked to do too much and, because of it, are having a total melt down. I’ve had my cell phone for five years, which by today’s standards means it should be part of a traveling history exhibit for school children. However, I’ve kept it because it provides me with all the functions I need in a cell phone:

I can call people.

People can call me.

I can hang up on people.

That’s all I’m really looking for in a cell phone. If I wanted to play video games and exchange text messages with friends, I’d just stay at work.

Comparatively, the life expectancy of today’s cell phones is about one year. Which is about how long it will be before you go blind using it. Apple is bragging that its new iPhone5 has a larger, easier to read four-inch screen! I know I can’t speak for everyone, but in my experience four inches is nothing to brag about.

Besides, what happens when, out of sheer frustration while

I miss my “old” phone.
trying to call an optician on your tiny iPhone screen, you end up crushing it in your fist like a grape?

In most cases this isn’t covered under warranty. The same thing goes for any damage your phone might incur after accidentally triggering a gas-station explosion.

That’s right. According to a recent warning from AAA, static discharge from cell phones “has the potential to ignite gas vapors, although it’s still safer than if your cell phone actually explodes.”

Because of this danger the National Fire Protection Association has offered a couple of tips to motorists. The first is to avoid using cell phones, laptop computers or portable radios while refueling. And if you happen to be using them all at once, you’re just asking for trouble.

And, most importantly: If a fire starts, don’t try to stop it. Leave the area and call someone.

Unless, of course, that’s the reason the fire started in the first place.

(You can write to Ned Hickson at nhickson@thesiuslawnews. com, or visit his blog at

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

29 thoughts on “Latest iPhone still no match for Nokia flaming cell phone”

  1. I love that option you suggested for making other phones go PHOOFF. Now, I’d settle for an option that makes a robot arm pop out of the phone and just smack them up the back of the head. In fact, I’d pay serious dollars for it.
    All kidding aside there is a rel point in there. I have a nice smartphone and use it a fair bit. It has my email and decent web browsing so ordinary ‘off the cuff’ tasks like quick replies, looking things up (references, definitions, fact-checking, locations and such) and quick messaging (you know–picking the kids up and such) are really well-done with it.
    Now–talking. I have a good data/voice package with the thing but…wait for it…I have never even bothered setting up things like my ‘fab ten’ (unlimited free calls to any ten people in the world) because…are you ready…the frigging thing is not really a pleasure to talk on.
    It’s not a phone with a computer built in.
    It’s a small computer that, by the way, has phone capability.
    Silly as it sounds it’s sometimes occurred to me that i would like to have something lie a flip phone that tethers to it. Yes, I know that’s a bit silly but still, I think it would result in me actually using it more.

    1. Lol! You know, I’m actually not that surprised by your comment about t being a computer with phone capability — almost as an afterthought. It seems like the talking part is becoming less and less of a desired function.

      And as for the robot arm, I REALLY like that idea. But I’d just settle for a shocking capability that sends a charge into someone’s phone when they are being annoying. I think that’s definitely do-able!

  2. I don’t know how the writing thing is going for you, but I would definitely buy the phone that implodes other people’s electronic devices. You could probably sell millions and retire to your own island.

  3. when i had my last cell and i opened it in front of a 2nd grader at drama camp, his response was, ‘wow, i didn’t even know they made flip phones anymore!’ told him it was retro and that he wasn’t cool enough to really get it. now i’m onto my iPhone, and i can no longer think of myself as an accidental trendsetter.

    1. Lol! I have a non-flip “Go” phone. No camera, music or web capabilities. When I was touching the screen the other day, my friend said “Hey, you finally got a touch screen?” I said, “No, just cleaning the gunk off of it so I can see it.”

  4. I still have my Nokia from 2000 and *mumble*. Someone called it cute the other day and asked if it worked. No sudden fire has occurred (yet…). It can make calls. It can receive calls. Its battery lasts for days. It doesn’t, sadly, implode other people’s phones.

    1. Nothing to be ashamed of. I have a “Go” phone with no camera, music or Web capabilities. And as far as I know, I can’t implode or set fire to anyone’s phone with it — so you’re safe. At least for now 😉

  5. I totally agree with your essential phone functions but I would add….

    ‘Needs to be functional as a weapon when comments are made about it not being an iPhone’

    … Maybe its not essential but satifying all the same 🙂

No one is watching, I swear...

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