Technology giant Apple rejected reports on Friday that overheated batteries had caused some of its iPhone devices to explode in users’ hands, blaming incidents in France on “external pressure”.

French authorities have opened an investigation into the safety of the cult smartphone, following claims by several users in France and elsewhere that their iPhone screens had shattered in a dangerous manner during use.

“As of today, there has been no confirmed incident linked to battery overheating in the iPhone 3GS, and the number of cases we are investigating amounts to less than a dozen,” the firm said in a statement.

“The iPhones with broken screens that we have been able to analyse so far show, in all cases that the cracks were caused by an external pressure upon the iPhone,” the company added.

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