Foxconn Factory Worker Detained Over iPhone 6 Shell Leaks
A Foxconn worker is being detained after being accused of stealing six iPhone 6 rear shells from the factory line and reselling them to an unidentified party in Shenzhen, China, reports The Wall Street Journal, citing details in Chinese newspaper Taihang Daily. The thefts started in late July and netted the 40-year-old male factory worker a total of 6,000 yuan ($960).
The suspect, identified only with the surname Qiao, allegedly responded to an advertisement that offered to purchase "parts from Apple Inc. at high prices." Qiao snuck out his first shell on July 24 and shipped the product to an address in Shenzhen.
"On July 24, according to the article, Qiao hid one shell in his pocket and successfully avoided the security check by leaving at the peak of quitting time, when lots of workers swarm out of the factory at the same time. He sent the shell to an address in Shenzhen via a local courier service and received his money couple days later.
Apparently encouraged, he stole another five shells that month and sent them to the same buyer, the article said."
Foxconn reported the thefts to local police in mid-August, who identified Qiao within 20 days through the use of video surveillance, employee records, and courier service logs. Foxconn told CNET in a statement that Foxconn expects its employees to follow the company's strict Code of Conduct.
"As a matter of company policy, Foxconn does not comment on any aspect of our work for any customer," a Foxconn Technology Group spokesperson told CNET in an e-mailed statement. "However, we can say that we have a strict Company Code of Conduct that our company and our employees are expected to follow and we do not hesitate to take the appropriate action, including bringing matters to the attention of the relevant law enforcement authorities, should we determine that this Code has been violated."
Numerous components from the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were leaked in the months leading up to Apple's September announcement event. Detailed photos and videos of the shells provided a glimpse into the design of the two handsets, while internal components hinted at NFC and other features that ultimately appeared in the final device.