Last week, readers of the tech blog MobileCrunch argued over a bizarre story of a Norwegian woman who claims her iPhone “exploded” when temperatures there dipped to -14 degrees Celsius (7 degrees Fahrenheit).

According to Swedish blog Feber, the unnamed woman claimed to be in her car, about to use her phone, when she discovered the entire device was cracked and broken. (Read the article with the help of Google Translate here.)

When she attempted to have the phone replaced under warranty, she was told by the employees at the Apple store she was ineligible for a free phone, since the warranty states the phone should not be used outside when the temperatures are below freezing or over 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit).

Fact or fiction?

So did it happen? It's hard to say.

Multiple tech blogs picked up on the story, but with varying details. MobileCrunch readers argued the story was bunk and the woman must have dropped her phone and lied about how it broke in an effort to get a free phone.

And while Apple’s iPhone warranty states repairs are not covered in the event of “damage caused by accident, abuse, misuse, liquid spill or submersion, flood, fire, earthquake or other external causes,” -- negative temperatures could possibly be included in that list -- there’s no specifications of just how hot or cold is "too hot" and "too cold."

Still, while the case of the exploding iPhone could simply be a new urban legend, the fact remains that extremely cold weather can effect the functionality of any electronic device. And with temperatures still frosty cold in much of the country, it’s important to keep cell phones from, ahem, freezing up this winter.

Consumer tips

Verizon Wireless, the soon-to-be additional carrier for the iPhone, has provided some handy cold-weather tips to for all cell phone users:

  • Keep your phone fully charged.  

Cold temperatures can run down the phone's battery charge more quickly.  Use a car charger to keep the phone's charge if you get stranded or stuck in traffic on icy or snowy roads.  Think about an extra battery as backup.

  • Handle your phone with care.  

The display screen can become brittle when exposed to cold temperatures for long periods of time.

  • Keep your phone in a warm place.

Avoid leaving it in an outside pocket or backpack or in the car overnight.  When outside in the cold weather, carry your phone in an inside jacket pocket, keeping it close to your body for warmth.

  • Accessorize.

Remember you can't dial or access the keyboard on a touch screen with gloves, so consider investing in a pair of finger flip gloves.