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Old Jul 15, 2013, 09:07 AM   #1
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Apple Pledges Investigation After Chinese Woman Reportedly Electrocuted Using a Charging iPhone 5




The 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.
Quote:
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.

Article Link: Apple Pledges Investigation After Chinese Woman Reportedly Electrocuted Using a Charging iPhone 5
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 09:11 AM   #2
Trik
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There has to be some extenuating circumstance in this situation. The output on an iPhone 5 charger is not that high...

On a side note, as sad as this tragedy is, I'm glad to see the correct use of the term "Electrocuted", too may people say that when they meant to say "shocked". Nobody will ever be able to say "I got electrocuted..." It's not possible.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 09:11 AM   #3
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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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wi-b9k-0KfE
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 09:11 AM   #4
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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.

Last edited by bchery21; Jul 15, 2013 at 12:24 PM.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 09:14 AM   #5
lusky
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hmmm, the output voltage on an iPhone charger is too low to do more than a slight shock. Could they have bought it in one of those knock off apple shops? or even a dodgy plug?
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 09:14 AM   #6
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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.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 09:15 AM   #7
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"...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..."

Ya, I'm sure they won't tell you the part about how it was sitting on the counter in a puddle of water. ...Or it was plugged into a faulty outlet. ...There's something missing from this report. People like to get money by blaming a product when some sort of negligence is usually the culprit.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 09:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bchery21 View Post
Details of the incident are somewhat sketchy? Well that's not...

...

shocking.
Have some respect, someone has died here.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 09:15 AM   #9
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Has it also been confirmed that it is in fact an iphone and not a knockoff qphone. And if so which iphone?
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 09:16 AM   #10
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That children, is why you buy proper Apple chargers.

Sounds like nonsense anyway, how could any phone charger (Apple or otherwise) output enough power to actually kill someone? Will be interesting to see how this story develops.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 09:17 AM   #11
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I wish they didn't allow comments on articles like this.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 09:17 AM   #12
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Sounds to me either a "non authorised" pin adapter could have been used to just change the pins from one design to another to work, or there has physically been a short in the circuit, maybe even make the case of the phone the grounding plate, and when she touches it - "snap" - effectively the whole phone becomes electrically charged. If you have enough Amps (not voltage), this can amplify and cause death, probably by making the heart beat too quickly.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 09:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unggoy Murderer View Post
That children, is why you buy proper Apple chargers.

Sounds like nonsense anyway, how could any phone charger (Apple or otherwise) output enough power to actually kill someone? Will be interesting to see how this story develops.
CNN are reporting that she was washing her hair in the shower at the time of incident.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 09:20 AM   #14
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Some of the comments/excuses/etc are just sad really.

How about we wait until the investigation is actually done and results published before we blame a potential victim OR a corporation.

Or go ahead - and grab pitchforks, tar and feathers if it makes you feel better...
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 09:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unggoy Murderer View Post
That children, is why you buy proper Apple chargers.
Did you miss the bit where it said she was using an official Apple charger?
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 09:22 AM   #16
ItsWelshy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsameds View Post
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
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 09:22 AM   #17
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I believe it. This happened to me. But I was using a knock off charger and the shock is very mild on the metal back of the iPhone 5. Feels like a vibration more then a shock. Stopped using that charger quick
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 09:24 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trik View Post
There has to be some extenuating circumstance in this situation. The output on an iPhone 5 charger is not that high...

On a side note, as sad as this tragedy is, I'm glad to see the correct use of the term "Electrocuted", too may people say that when they meant to say "shocked". Nobody will ever be able to say "I got electrocuted..." It's not possible.
It isn't really Voltage that Kills. It is Amperage, and not much at that. 0.1 amp across the heart can be enough to kill. The iPhone charger spits out 2.1 amps so yes, with the right environmental circumstances it could be lethal... so can an electric shaver.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 09:25 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unggoy Murderer View Post
That children, is why you buy proper Apple chargers.

Sounds like nonsense anyway, how could any phone charger (Apple or otherwise) output enough power to actually kill someone? Will be interesting to see how this story develops.
Simple It's coming from a full power receptacle and it is stepped down. If this is bypassed you get the full power. Water would be able to do this.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 09:25 AM   #20
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After living in China for a few years, working with electronics, I have learned that iPhones sold in non-authorized retailer shops, more often than not, have had internal parts swapped for counterfeit ones to maximize profits. This for sure goes for the chargers as well. Thus, my guess is that the charger used in the case were not an original Apple charger.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 09:28 AM   #21
lusky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyfall View Post
Did you miss the bit where it said she was using an official Apple charger?
it actually says her family insists she was using an official charger. my family wouldn't know if my charger was official and I doubt her family truly knows. it may be official, but it won't be known until it is investigated
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 09:28 AM   #22
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From China? Seems legit...
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 09:29 AM   #23
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Is this possible, given the battery in the device?
Or perhaps because it was plugged in, the current was greater?

Sad to hear something like this has occurred at all.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 09:29 AM   #24
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Ha people are questioning the facts because this happend in China? Racist much?
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 09:29 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dixido View Post
After living in China for a few years, working with electronics, I have learned that iPhones sold in non-authorized retailer shops, more often than not, have had internal parts swapped for counterfeit ones to maximize profits. This for sure goes for the chargers as well. Thus, my guess is that the charger used in the case were not an original Apple charger.
I'd be willing to bet this is the situation when the sketchy details come to light.
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