iPhone 4 Catches Fire (Literally)

Everyone knows the iPhone 4 is the hottest new gadget around, but one customer had to find that out the hard way.

According to Boy Genius Report, a popular technology blog, one iPhone owner recently brought the device to an AT&T (Stock Quote: T) store because it had “caught on fire while being hooked up to a computer using the Apple USB cable.” As a result, the customer’s hand was burned “slightly” and the phone’s USB port and cord were “badly melted.” (You can find pictures of the aftermath on the site.)

The customer did ask to exchange his charred phone for a new one, but at the time, the AT&T store had none left in stock. Obviously, the customer should be allowed to do so, as all iPhones come with a limited warranty for the first year which covers any damage that does not result from an accident.

One source at AT&T told Boy Genius Report that the Apple store determined this incident was due to a “defective USB port.” There has been no word yet from Apple (Stock Quote: AAPL) about whether this could be a problem in other new iPhones. However, as CultofMac points out, there have been several incidents of Apple devices bursting into flames in the past, including the previous generation iPhone (an incident that was also caused by the USB port). It is still incredibly rare for this to happen, although there have been plenty of complaints that the iPhone gets too hot from time to time.

We will update this post as more information becomes available.

If you’re debating buying yourself a new iPhone 4 and the slim threat of fire doesn’t scare you away, there are a couple ways you can save big on the purchase. For those who already have an iPhone and want to upgrade to the newest model, you can trade in your old phone at Radio Shack for as much as $200 toward the purchase. Or if you don’t mind getting last year’s model, you can buy the iPhone 3G at Wal-Mart (Stock Quote: WMT) for just $97.

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