Charging iPhone Kills People?

A 23-year-old Chinese woman has allegedly died from an electric shock when using Apple’s iPhone 5 while it was being charged, her family members claim, according to media reports.

The older sister of alleged victim Ma Ailun took to Sina Weibo, China’s popular Twitter-like social network, over the weekend to demand an explanation from Apple and urged people not to use their phones while charging them.

A Sina Tech report said that Apple has issued a statement expressing condolences to Ma’s family over the unfortunate incident, and vowed to investigate the incident thoroughly. The company also said it would cooperate with authorities over the matter.

Another report, this time from China Daily, said that local police confirmed Ma had died of electrocution, but have not concluded whether her phone played a part in causing the incident.

Experts have noted that there is a risk in using any electrical device while it is being charged, according to a South China Morning Post report — be it a shaver or a phone. An expert in the report also cautioned that the exact circumstances of the incident are not clear, and it would not be suitable to jump to any conclusions at this stage.

China is known for selling Apple products on the grey market, with the iPhone 5 landing in the country less than a week after Apple began selling it last year, and counterfeit iPhone 5 models had arrived by then too.

Ma’s sister mentioned on Weibo that the phone was bought last December and still under warranty, and the family has handed the phone over to authorities for investigation.

Reports have said that Ma, a resident in the northwestern Chinese province of Xinjiang, had been a flight attendant at China Southern Airlines, though she recently quit her job. Ma’s sister on Weibo mentioned that she had been due to get married on August 18.

Update: According to local news' update, it was iPhone 4 rather than iPhone 5 with metal surface that the woman was actually using. The charger she used was not original charger produced by Apple, and while the woman was found dead, ther cable, charger were totally fine, the iPhone can even be reboot.

There is no further statement from Apple yet.


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