Apple Pledges Investigation After Chinese Woman Reportedly Electrocuted Using a Charging iPhone 5

iphone_charger_chinaThe Next Web summarizes a series of reports from out of China relating an incident in which a 23-year-old Chinese woman was allegedly electrocuted while answering a call on her iPhone 5 as it was plugged in and charging. Details on the incident are somewhat sketchy, but the woman's family insists that the iPhone was purchased from Apple in December and that the woman was using Apple's official charger at the time of the incident.

The South China Morning Post reports that Apple has issued a brief statement expressing its condolences and committing to investigate the situation.

A spokeswoman for the technology company said: "We are deeply saddened to learn of this tragic incident and offer our condolences to the ... family. We will fully investigate and co-operate with authorities in this matter."

According to mainland media reports, Ma Ailun, a 23-year-old flight attendant with China Southern Airlines, was picking up her iPhone 5 to answer a call while the battery was being charged when she was electrocuted and killed.

Experts note that any device presents a more risky situation when being used while charging, but that either multiple significant issues between the device and electrical system or environmental factors such as the presence of water would generally be required for a dangerous incident to occur.

But while the woman's family claims that she was using a genuine Apple charger, the dangers of knockoff chargers are well-known, with many of those devices failing to meet standards for adequately separating electrical input and output.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
95 months ago
Whilst I'm not gonna say that she was using a 3rd party charger (I would rather stick to facts than speculation) - I just thought I'd share my experience of one. I bought a cheap charger off eBay a couple of years ago.

It worked great, then one day I plugged it into the wall, and the other end into my iPod and *bang* - the charger exploded, it shot the charger out of the wall and across the room, charring the wall and blowing the circuit breakers.

Luckily there was no fire and no one was hurt, and the iPod was ok (somehow!) but I couldn't help but think that I was lucky and I could have received one nasty shock from that thing.

I now buy all official chargers every time, it's just not worth it for the sake of a few pounds.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
95 months ago

Details of the incident are somewhat sketchy? Well that's not...

...

shocking.


Have some respect, someone has died here.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
95 months ago

Have some respect, someone has died here.

I think you'll find it's natural selection at play here...

Anyone using a phone plugged in, whilst they take a shower, shouldn't really have any complaint
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
95 months ago
I wish they didn't allow comments on articles like this.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
95 months ago
Details of the incident are somewhat sketchy? Well that's not...

...

shocking.

EDIT: Apologies to those who've been offended by my comment; I'll admit I wrote this before reading about the lady's death.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
95 months ago
I can see this happening with one of the Chinese knock-off cube chargers; you should see the insides of those things. The power traces are extremely close together and use shoddy materials.

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=wi-b9k-0KfE
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

iPhone 12 Pro in Graphite and iPhone 12 in Blue Shown Off in Unboxing Videos

Monday October 19, 2020 8:20 am PDT by
While the iPhone 12 Pro does not launch until Friday, we now have an early unboxing video of the device courtesy of Twitter account DuanRui, providing a closer look at the shiny new flat-edge design and sleek Graphite color option. Ben Geskin re-uploaded the unboxing video to YouTube, which we've embedded below: Geskin has also uploaded an unboxing video of the iPhone 12 in Blue: ...

Apple Releases iPadOS and iOS 14.1 With Multiple Bug Fixes Ahead of iPhone 12 Launch

Tuesday October 20, 2020 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.1, the first major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 14 operating system updates that were released in September. iOS and iPadOS 14.1 come a week after Apple released the golden master versions of the updates to developers. The iOS 14.1 update can be downloaded for free and it is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access...

Watch: iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Unboxing Videos and First Impressions

Tuesday October 20, 2020 6:05 am PDT by
Apple's embargo has lifted for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro reviews. In addition to our detailed review roundups for each device, we've rounded up over a dozen unboxing videos and first impressions below. iPhone 12 in Blue on left and iPhone 12 Pro in Pacific Blue on right via Engadget Key new features of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro include a flat-edge design, 5G support, a much faster A14 ...

Gold Version of iPhone 12 Pro Apparently Has a More Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steel Frame

Tuesday October 20, 2020 11:56 am PDT by
iPhone 12 Pro reviews hit the web today, and one of the more interesting tidbits came from TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino, who revealed that the Gold version of the device apparently has a more fingerprint resistant coating applied to the stainless steel frame. From his review:Most of the iPhone 12 Pro finishes still use a physical vapor deposition process for edge coating. But the new gold...

Photographer Austin Mann Tests the iPhone 12 Pro's Camera

Wednesday October 21, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
Travel photographer Austin Mann usually performs an in-depth review of new iPhone models to test their camera performance in real-world scenarios. To test Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro, Mann traveled to Glacier National Park, Montana. Mann focused on some of the biggest camera upgrades with the iPhone 12 Pro, including the upgraded Wide lens, Ultra Wide Night mode, and LiDAR autofocus, across a...

iPhone 12 Pro Max Has Smaller 3,687 mAh Battery According to Regulatory Filing

Tuesday October 20, 2020 8:48 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro Max is equipped with a 3,687 mAh battery, which is around 7% less capacity than the 3,969 mAh battery in the iPhone 11 Pro Max, according to a regulatory filing published by TENAA, the Chinese equivalent of the FCC. The regulatory filing, spotted by MacRumors, also lists the iPhone 12 Pro Max with 6GB of RAM as seen in benchmark results last week. Apple has filed ...

5G Drains iPhone 12 Battery 20% Faster Than 4G in Benchmark

Wednesday October 21, 2020 3:17 am PDT by
After the first reviews for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro emerged yesterday, a new report by Tom's Guide reveals the extent of battery life reductions when using 5G. The report outlines a test wherein the iPhone surfs the web continuously at 150 nits of screen brightness, launching a new site every 30 seconds until the battery drains. Interestingly, the test was run on an iPhone 12 and...

Hands-On With Apple's iPhone 12 and 12 Pro MagSafe Cases

Tuesday October 20, 2020 1:33 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are launching this Friday, and ahead of that release date, Apple is shipping out various accessories like the MagSafe charger and MagSafe cases. Yesterday we took a look at the MagSafe charger, and today our MagSafe case came in the mail, so we thought we'd take another look at the charger to see how it works with the case and just how strong the case magnets are. S ...

Reliable Leaker Suggests AirTags 'Coming Soon' in Two Different Sizes

Tuesday October 20, 2020 1:53 am PDT by
Apple's rumored AirTags Bluetooth tracking devices could launch imminently and will be available in two size options, based on new tweets from cryptic-but-reliable leaker L0vetodream. In typical enigmatic style, the leaker first tweeted this morning that a "big one" and a "small one" are "coming soon," but withheld what they were referring to. However that was followed an hour later with the ...