Apple to Investigate Alleged iPhone Electrocution

A Chinese woman's family says she died from electrocution because she used her iPhone while it was charging.

Apple says it will investigate an iPhone-related death in China. Allegedly, one of the smartphones electrocuted a young woman who used the device while it was plugged in.

The Wall Street Journal's Paul Mozur reported, "Apple Inc. said Monday that it is investigating a case in which the family of a 23-year-old woman alleges that she was electrocuted by her iPhone. Though details about the case remain sketchy, it has caught the imagination of social media users in China, who have been spreading word about the case and warning not to use devices while they are charging."

According to China's Xinhuanet, "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 last Thursday, police said Sunday."

BBC News quoted an Apple statement, which said, "We are deeply saddened to learn of this tragic incident and offer our condolences to the Ma family. We will fully investigate and co-operate with authorities in this matter."

Computerworld's Gregg Keizer recalled, "Apple had problems with iPhone chargers five years ago, when in September 2008 it exchanged USB power adapters after fielding reports of electrical shocks. 'We have received reports of detached blades involving a very small percentage of the adapters sold, but no injuries have been reported,' Apple said at the time in a support document announcing the exchange program. Other, isolated incidents have been reported over the years of iPhones catching fire while recharging."

Tags: iPhone, China, Apple, smartphone

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