Yes. You read the title correctly – my iPhone 5s burnt my boob.

Well, not technically my boob. It was actually my chest.

In the photo below (a re-enactment) you can see how I *sometimes* place my telephone.  I borrowed my trainer Gav’s phone for this photo. My 5s was dead at this point.

I suffer from “troll” hair post workout – also known as “the wuzzies” – it’s an attractive look!

On December 18th, at 7:30 in the morning, I started a run on the Alter-G treadmill at The Running School.  Unfortunately I had grabbed a tank top without a back pocket so stuffed my phone under my sports bra strap while I ran.  Before I started my run, I tuned into House Nation UK on Soundcloud, and then settled into a good groove on the G-trainer.

* About 15 minutes into my run the sound cut out, but I thought nothing of this – I was in a good groove and I was streaming so I thought I had probably just lost a signal. 
* About 20 minutes into my run my chest felt hot, but again, I thought I was just sweating and working hard, and didn’t give it another thought.
* 30 minutes after I started my run, I was done. I grabbed my phone to take it out of my strap and to remove my headphones, and it was SCORCHING HOT.

I quickly set the phone down and checked out my chest – a bright red rectangle where my phone had been sitting!  Holy shit – MY 5S BURNT MY BOOB!

I was busy on that Wednesday – I had time for a quick run and then had to head off for a day trip for work.  I know I had an old iPhone 4GS with battery issues at home – so I would reactivate that as soon as I could, and then get a replacement.

On Thursday I visited Vodafone (my service provider) who told me that I should head to apple as it sounded like a product fault. So I made an appointment with the Apple Genius Bar at their Covent Garden shop. Just in time, I thought, as I was heading to the US for Christmas on that Sunday so wanted a new phone so that I could take better photos than my 4GS.

What happened next staggered me. I have to admit I arrived in the shop upset – I mean – my 5S BURNT MY BOOB!  So when I saw the genius assistant and explained my problem, and she took my phone from me to check it out, I was shocked with the verdict.

Her: “Your phone has water damage. There is nothing more we can do for you.”
Me: “Are you kidding me?  MY 5S BURNT MY BOOB!”

The assistant, whose name I did not take, then told me she had never heard of anyone putting their phone under their bra strap or in their sports bra.

Really?  Are you kidding me?  Do a google search for “Sports Bra Phone Pockets” and you will discover numerous products DESIGNED to enable women to tuck their phones into their sports bras!

I incredulously replied (and I apologise if she took this the wrong way): “Well clearly you are not a runner then.”

And then I asked to speak to her manager. I was introduced to Manager Ben Waterworth, who proceeded to tell me that my phone had water damage and that Apple had no liability to me for the burn, nor did they have any obligation to replace my phone.

“But my 5S BURNT MY BOOB!”

We will never know if chest sweat killed my phone, or if it was the rain.  But the fact is on Wednesday 18 December, while running at The Running School City branch, my 5s burnt my boob.

I’ve been asked numerous times if I took a photo of the burn, so that I had evidence.  No.  No I didn’t.  You see, a selfie was impossible. As my phone had died. And even if it was possible, I’m a little reluctant to take photos of my chest.

I’ve been asked if I went to my GP, to document my burn.  No I didn’t.  Work was crazy busy in the run up to my vacation, I didn’t have time to get there, and as a non-urgent case I probably would not have got an appointment until the following week (when I would have been in the US).  So I just iced my chest, and used lotion.  It was a minor burn – a red outline – which faded in about 3 days.

I’ve been asked if my phone had a case.  Yes, it did.  I simple case I bought when I upgraded my phone.  I was then told by many that I made a school girl error – that a simple case won’t protect a phone from water damage, that I needed a LifeProof case to be sure I wouldn’t kill my phone.

But really – is it right that a phone should die from exposure to sweat?

I heard after my experience that this is super common. Many people told me how they have had iPods and iPhones die. In their arm band cases from accumulated moisture. In lycra pockets while cycling. Even an Apple store employee at their Wellington Florida shop told me that his 5S died from the humidity in Florida while in his shorts pocket.  Really?  Phones that die so easily are sold to consumers as “reliable” and “fit for purpose”??!!

My message to you is the following:


It may become damaged by liquid (aka sweat) and overheat and burn your boob and then die. Don’t do it. Trust me. It sucks.

My second message to you is:


The Apple employee from Wellington Florida told me that Lifeproof was a good choice – but not foolproof. He said to still be careful with your phone even if using a case designed to be extremely protective. (I bought my case and then tested it before us by closing it and immersing it overnight in water to see if it had any leaks – it didn’t – but I am still cautious with it). He also said there are products on the market – sprays designed to seal the phone – but that these might violate the Apple product warranty. 

My third message to you is:


I was so disappointed with my experience that I looked into switching hardware. But thankfully Bhavi at Vodafone Canary Wharf sorted out a replacement phone for me through my Vodafone insurance. So I am still an Apple user. Although I don’t like them as a company any more.

And finally, some funny messages I received that made me laugh about how the #5SBURNTMYBOOB:

“Did you really break your phone with your sweaty cleavage?” (answer: yes, although technically it was chest sweat as the phone wasn’t in my cleavage)

“You BUSTed your phone.” (yes, yes I did!)

“Apple’s response wasn’t very imBREASTive.” (no, it wasn’t.)

“Is it fair to assume you and Apple are no longer bosom buddies?” (haha!)

Have a great weekend, and keep your phone – and your chest – safe!

PS: here is the link from the Apple site so that you can check and see if your phone already suffered water damage, and thus is at heightened risk of overheating and short circuiting.

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