Answering Plugged-In iPhone Blamed for Killing 23-Year-Old

by Christopher Freeburn | July 15, 2013 10:30 am

iphone 4S 630 300x227 Answering Plugged In iPhone Blamed for Killing 23 Year Old[1]Chinese authorities are investigating the death of Ma Ailun[2], a former flight attendant, who was reportedly electrocuted while using Apple‘s (AAPL[3]) flagship iPhone 5.

The 23-year-old woman’s family says she received a fatal shock on Thursday when she answered a telephone call on the iPhone while the smartphone was charging. According to Chinese reports, Ailun purchased both the iPhone and its charger from an Apple Store late last year.  In a statement, Apple expressed sympathy to Ailun’s family and said it would cooperate with the police, the Guardian notes.

Investigators are focusing on possible defects in the charger or its wiring.

Reports of people being electrocuted while using smartphones that are connected to electrical outlets for charging are exceedingly rare, though online rumors of such a danger date back to about 2004. A damaged wire, whose insulation has been frayed, could allow current to be conducted through a person who touched it.

This year, Apple was sharply criticized by Chinese state media over its warranty and customer service policies in China, prompting an apology from CEO Tim Cook[4] and changes to the way it handles warranty coverage in China.

Shares of Apple rose about 1% in Monday morning trading.

Endnotes:
  1. [Image]: http://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/iphone-4S-630.jpg
  2. investigating the death of Ma Ailun: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/jul/15/iphone-death-china-electric-shock
  3. AAPL: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=AAPL
  4. apology from CEO Tim Cook: http://investorplace.com/2013/04/tuesday-apple-rumors-next-2-iphone-designs-date-to-jobs/

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