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iPhones allegedly malfunction after helium exposure



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Keep iPhone away from helium.


Óscar Gutiérrez / CNET

If you are one of those who actually read the iPhone User's Guide, you know that there are certain things you should keep your device away from. It includes apparent helium.

"Exposure of iPhone to environments that have high concentrations of industrial chemicals, including near vaporization of liquid gases like helium, can damage or impair iPhone functionality," says the user's manual.

However, for many people including Reddit uses harritaco, Redditor shared earlier this month that after an MRI machine was installed and tested in its workplace, around 40 people's iPhones and Apple Watches stopped working. (Liquid helium is used to cool magnets in MRI machines. ) Only iOS devices were affected. Android users did not experience any long-term issues, Harritaco said.

"It's not surprising that a massive powerful superconducting electromagnet is capable of doing this," Redditor wrote. " What surprised me is that it only affects Apple products. "

Another Reddit user, Captain Coal, wrote that helium caused the problem due to its impact on micro echromekanic system or MEMS, oscillators. These are the small devices that run the phone's clock. In order for the device to function properly, the mechanical resonator must be kept in a hermetically sealed chamber, explains Redditor, but the seals can still be permeable to gases like helium.

In a Tuesday follow-up to the original post, Harritaco has said that he or she could confirm the cause of the iPhone error was actually helium. Harritaco conducted some tests, which meant placing an iPhone in a sealed bag of helium. The phone unlocked after about eight minutes. This, along with the iPhone user's guide and information from the MR provider, confirmed that the theory of helium is the culprit, harritaco said.

Apple did not respond immediately to a request for comment.


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