Woman says she found out 'brand-new' iPhone was counterfeit after it exploded

ACWORTH, Ga. — A woman says what she thought was a brand-new iPhone 6 she purchased online from a Cricket Wireless exploded in her home -- and that's not the most shocking part of the story.

Channel 2's Jim Strickland spoke to the Yvette Civil, who said her phone exploded on Thanksgiving Day in her kitchen, damaging the floor and leaving her husband with minor burns.

The family still wants to know who is going to pay for the floor. But the most immediate concern is how they ended up with an iPhone that was actually a dangerous impostor.

Civil bought the phone through Atlanta-based AT&T discount retailer, Cricket Wireless.

Civil showed Thomas pictures of the charred phone after it crackled and exploded Thanksgiving afternoon.

"Just like an explosion like 'Boooosh,' that type of thing," Civil said. "I was shocked."

When Civil contacted Cricket Wireless to report the issue, they told her to contact Apple.

"They suggested that I contact Apple because they don't make the product, they just sell it," Civil said.

Civil sent the phone to Apple, but when the company investigated the phone, technicians told her that even though the phone was new, the parts inside were not. In fact, the company said none of the parts in the phone were Apple parts, not even the screws.

"They came back to me within a week to let me know that the phone was tainted, basically," Civil said. "At that moment, they wanted nothing to do with it. They can't touch it."


There is no clear explanation as to how a tainted phone got shipped in what looked like authentic Apple packaging.

"It's not that I'm buying something under the impression that I'm buying it secondhand or refurbished," Civil said. "They're advertising the phone as a brand-new iPhone 6."

Apple replaced the phone before knowing it was fake. They sent Civil an email saying they are not responsible for repairs to the floor saying, "Due to the findings, we are unable to pursue the request for compensation at this time."

Civil contacted Cricket, which offered her a month of free service but said they had sent her an unopened device. No one is offering to pay for the damaged floor.

"My floor needs to be fixed," Civil said. "That's not how my floor was before this."

Civil said the incident could have been far worse. The phone that exploded belonged to her teenage daughter. It just happened to be on the counter, rather than in her daughter's pocket.

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