On Sept. 16, 2017, an iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus burst into flames in the back of a Los Angeles taxi, igniting the charred remains of an iPhone that had just been switched on.
A few hours later, another iPhone 7 broke free from its carrier and struck a building in San Francisco, killing two people.
It wasn’t until more than a week later that a third iPhone 7 exploded on the streets of Los Angeles, killing a woman.
Now, the death toll from those iPhone fires is approaching 200, and Apple is under fire for its response to the disasters.
The Cupertino, California, company has faced a barrage of criticism from customers, analysts, and government officials for its slow response to phone fires, a lack of cybersecurity, and for its failure to offer any kind of “quick fix.”
The government’s investigation is currently underway, and in an interview with ABC News on Monday, former Attorney General Eric Holder said that the phone companies’ slow response was “a major failure on their part.”
Apple is now taking the full brunt of the criticism for the fires, but it’s not the only company that is grappling with the crisis.
The company is also facing questions over its handling of the disaster.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, a federal investigation has been opened into Apple’s response to 9/11-related fires in the past five years.
Apple has also been criticized for not offering a “quick” fix for the phone fires.
Bloomberg Businessman Ryan Riddle reports that “the company’s refusal to offer immediate help to customers, or to offer a full recovery plan, has made it more difficult for people to take advantage of the phone disaster.”
Apple also faces a growing body of evidence that suggests that the iPhone is one of the most vulnerable products on the market.
According a new report from cybersecurity firm FireEye, the number of Android-based phones that were found to be vulnerable to ransomware attacks doubled between January and July of this year.
The report found that over 3,000 Android phones have been infected with ransomware, with nearly 2,500 of those devices infected using the Google Play service.
Apple was the only major smartphone manufacturer to provide security updates to customers affected by the ransomware attacks.
In April, Apple released its own security update, which included fixes for a new version of Android, and some fixes for other vulnerabilities.
However, the company has not yet updated any of its customers affected with ransomware to the latest security version of the operating system.
As for the iPhone, some analysts are skeptical that the company can ever recover from the fires.
Reuters reports that the death count from the phone-related disasters is already approaching 200.
“While we are working to restore all iPhone devices to their rightful owners, we will continue to monitor this incident closely and respond to any new information that may be emerging,” a spokeswoman for Apple told Reuters.