Xiaomi’s track record may now be on par with the likes of Apple and Samsung – though not as the China electronics giant would have liked.
Spreading like wildfire on Chinese social media network Sina Weibo is the incident of a woman’s Xiaomi Mi2S allegedly bursting into flames in her handbag.
Accompanying photographs reveal a disturbing aftermath – the smartphone reduced to melted plastic pieces and the handbag destroyed. The woman also reported burn injuries on her finger. Xiaomi has yet to comment.
Some critics have denounced the incident as marring the reputation of the rising smartphone giant. Indeed, such incidents often stoke fears among consumers that their device could meet a similar fate, and worse, that they could be left uncompensated.
Just last year, Samsung made headlines for refusing to replace a customer’s Galaxy S4 that spontaneously caught fire while left to charge overnight. In a major PR embarrassment for one of the biggest brands in the industry, competitor Nokia offered the disgruntled customer a free Lumia in compensation.
It remains to be seen if Xiaomi will go down the same path as Samsung or succeed in quelling customer dissatisfaction. Given the wide coverage this story has gained, public expectations are running high for the Android smartphone company to provide adequate customer care.
This unfortunate incident also comes against the backdrop of current dissatisfaction in China over the processor in Xiaomi’s latest offering, the Mi3. Rather than the highly-advertised Snapdragon 800 MSM8974AB, the devices used a Snapdragon 800 MSM8274AB processor instead.
Yet many others reckon that smartphones catching fire is no big deal. More often than not, investigations reveal that manufacturing defects are not to blame for the fires. One common cause is using mobile parts and chargers that are not from the manufacturer.
In this case, however, the lady asserts that she did not mix any foreign parts or tinker with her device in any way. While there may be other plausible explanations that still absolve Xiaomi of any blame, the odds are indeed stacked against the corporation.
Of course, as with any news that goes viral on social media, we have to bear in mind that not everything we read may be true. Along the process of sharing and retweeting, some facts may have been exaggerated or distorted.
Perhaps it might be best to wait for a detailed explanation from Xiaomi before we fret over the safety standards of this relatively new entrant into the smartphone industry.