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Burnt Samsung Galaxy S III singed by external source, probe reveals

Microwave to dry it out, it seems

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Pictures showing a heat-damaged Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone were seemingly the result of a bonkers bid to dry out a wet handset by heating it in a microwave oven.

The snaps appeared online last month. They showed an S III with burn damage down near the phone's Micro USB port. The battery was intact and undamaged.

Samsung quickly said it was reaching out to get hold of the device to investigate the damage.

This weekend, it published the results of the probe, conducted by a UK-based third-party fire damage testing operation, Fire Investigations.

FI reported that "the heat damage does not appear to have been from an external heat flux, such as a naked flame". Rather, "the heat damage to the device appears to have been generated from within the device".

Inside the device? That points the finger at the phone, surely? Not quite - the energy was not generated by the device, FI concluded. "Based on the observed physical damage to the internal components, in particular the electrical components attached to the PCB, the heat does not appear to have been generated from energy within the device but from an external source," it said.

The external source, in FI's opinion, was microwave energy.

FI's report suggests other tests be carried out to confirm this, particularly an investigation of the cradle unit it believes the phone was slotted into when the damage took place.

But that now seems unnecessary. After publication of the FI report's conclusion by Samsung this past weekend, the poster of the original snaps admitted online: "The damage to the phone was caused by another person, although they were attempting to recover the phone from water… It occurred due to a large amount of external and there was no fault with the phone."

Reading between the lines of the FI report and the response: someone put the phone in a microwave to boil away the water that had penetrated the casing. ®

Thanks to reader Kris for the tip

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