YTL Comms says Yes Altitude 3 phones are safe, users reminded to use original chargers and cables

YTL Communications has issued a statement acknowledging the two recent incidents involving the Yes Altitude 3. Based on their preliminary investigations, the company said the screens of both smartphones are undamaged, indicating that the phones did not explode.

According to the statement, the first incident reported in Gombak was confined to the battery. It clarified that the phone’s integrity is not compromised and it is still fully functional with a new battery.

On the second incident which took place in Temerloh, the phone was charged using an older third-party charging cable and was left inside a shirt pocket that was hung by the wall. The phone was charged after 2 hours of online classes.

They also observed that the charging cable used had suffered considerable burns with the wiring exposed. It believed that heat had concentrated on the charging cable and the top part of the phone around the charging port, suggesting a strong power surge that came in through the charging port. Similar to the first incident, YTL Communications said the screen of the second device remained in good condition which indicates that the phone did not explode.

The company has also reached out to manufacturing partner China Mobile as well as battery-maker UTime Limited to perform an audit of production and quality control data from the production run of the Yes Altitude smartphones. They confirmed that the devices have fully complied with all the pertinent international health and safety certifications including CE (Conformitè Europëenne).

YTL Communications CEO Wing K Lee said “We would like to thank Puan Suryani Abd Ghani and Encik Mohd Najif and their families for their cooperation in assisting with the investigations.”

He added “As confirmed by our manufacturing partners, our phones are safe for use and they fully stand behind the product and its quality. However, YTLC would like to remind our customers to only use original chargers supplied with the relevant phones and quality SIRIM certified charging cables that are in good condition.”

Last week, netizens raised concerns on the safety aspect of the free Yes Altitude 3 phones. This came after the Perak state government had donated 20,000 units and defended that the phones are of low-spec to prevent students from paying games. Responding to critics, the state Menteri Besar responded that the free phones are better than no smartphone at all.

The Yes Altitude 3 came with a 5″ 480p screen, a 1.3GHz MediaTek processor with 1GB RAM and 8GB of storage. The device runs on Android 10 (Go Edition) and is powered by a small removable 2,000mAh battery.

Soon after the first fire incident came into light, Xiaomi had immediately reached out to the 9-year-old boy to give him a Redmi Note 10 5G to help him continue with his online studies. For the second incident, the student’s school community in Temerloh had quickly gathered funds to buy her a new Vivo Y12s to replace her Yes Altitude 3.

Last week, YTL Communications pledged to launch an investigation into the matter as the safety of their products and users is of paramount importance. According to the telco, they have distributed over 100,000 free phones through the YTL Foundation since the start of the movement control order in early 2020.

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Alexander Wong