According to a report from Daily News Thailand [Google Translate] (via South China Morning Post), a man in Thailand was pronounced dead after being electrocuted by his iPhone 4s, which he was using while it was charging. The man appeared to be using an unauthorized third-party charger to charge his device, which often do not meet Apple's safety standards.

thaiman_iphone

Local police found that the smartphone was still connected to a charger in a nearby power outlet, indicating that the victim had likely been talking on the phone while charging it at the same time.

Photographs taken of the charger show a blue model different from the standard white ones that Apple includes with every iPhone, suggesting that it was a cheaply made fake.

This is not the first time this year that an iPhone was accused of being a safety hazard, as a woman in China suffered eye injuries from her iPhone 5 after it exploded while she was on the phone this past August. Additionally, a Chinese man was left in a coma after receiving an electric shock while charging his iPhone 4 in July, which followed the death of a Chinese woman under similar circumstances.

The latter two incidents also reportedly involved the use of unauthorized third-party adapters, with Apple responding to the events by establishing an international third-party USB charger "Takeback Program" offering official replacement chargers for $10 to anyone who turns in a suspect adapter.

Top Rated Comments

mpantone Avatar
102 months ago
Funny how none of these "claims" come from the U.S., where a majority of the devices are located and used.
Er, no.

The majority of Apple sales occur outside the U.S. these days. Just look at Apple's SEC filings, the 10-Q reports, quarterly financial reports, etc.

China has been Apple's second largest market for a while now, should be Apple's #1 market in the not-too-distant future.

You are living in a delusional world where U.S.A. is still the economic hegemony.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tbrand7 Avatar
102 months ago
Don't people get it by now? Buy Apple's chargers. Its not worth your life to save a couple of bucks!
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chabig Avatar
102 months ago
Let's get this straight. He wasn't electrocuted by the iPhone. He was electrocuted by the charger. The story is false.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tubamajuba Avatar
102 months ago
As long as knockoff chargers are 1/10 the price of Apples on a shelf, people will continue to buy knockoffs.

It's in Apples best business interests to expect and accept the minor death toll, merely admonish cheap knockoffs, but otherwise take no action that would eliminate these deaths but cost the company profits.

Money > Lives

"Buy our overpriced chargers or risk death, the choice is yours."

-:apple:

Oh, look at you two warriors of justice. Every texting-and-driving wreck caused by someone using an iPhone is also Apple's fault, right? Corporations all over the world should sue Apple for the money they've lost due to employees being distracted by their iPhones. And did you know that Apple is directly responsible for the destruction of families due to people being on their iPhones and iPads rather than focusing on the people that care about them the most?

I am truly sorry that people have been injured and killed because of these phony chargers. Nobody deserves such a terrible thing. But Apple has done its part- they have made it clear that non-MFi chargers cannot be trusted. They have a program in place that allows you to trade in unauthorized chargers that they have no responsibility for and get a new charger for half the price.

But yes, let's just blame Apple for everything. It's so much easier than exercising personal responsibility!
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hoylen Avatar
102 months ago
A warning for everyone, not just iPhone users

This is very tragic. But I can't help think there is reporting bias going on. Articles with "iPhone" in the title sells newspapers, but a title like "Person electrocuted by cheap unsafe charger" does not. The later is not even "news."

To put things into perspective, I wonder how many tragic stories with other devices don't get reported? It is not that other smartphone users don't use cheap unsafe chargers -- whether by choice or by being fooled by a fake. And unsafe devices are not just limited to USB chargers.

That's right, "Its not worth your life to save a couple of bucks!" But get that word out to everyone, not just Apple users.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
phillies262834 Avatar
102 months ago
Funny how none of these "claims" come from the U.S., where a majority of the devices are located and used.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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