Phone Go Boom
By David Futrelle

(MONEY Magazine) – If you find it annoying when your cell phone rings at the most inappropriate moments, count yourself lucky: At least it hasn't exploded. Cell-phone giant Nokia found itself on the hot seat this fall after a spate of phone explosions left customers from Vietnam to the Netherlands with burns and a lot of questions. A Nebraska woman, meanwhile, says she was left picking cell-phone shrapnel from her granddaughter's car seat after her Kyocera phone went boom in October. The culprit? Short-circuiting batteries. Nokia says its batteries are safe and blames shoddily made counterfeit batteries for the problems. Kyocera, meanwhile, says that despite the shrapnel in the baby seat, its battery didn't actually explode; it merely "vented" in an attempt to dissipate heat and avoid a real explosion. Somehow that's not terribly reassuring. --DAVID FUTRELLE