Apple Pledges Investigation After Chinese Woman Reportedly Electrocuted Using a Charging iPhone 5

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.
    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
  2. Trik macrumors regular

    Jan 18, 2011
    Washington, DC
    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.
  3. troop231 macrumors 603

    Jan 20, 2010
    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.
  4. bchery21, Jul 15, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013

    bchery21 macrumors 6502


    Aug 3, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Details of the incident are somewhat sketchy? Well that's not...



    EDIT: Apologies to those who've been offended by my comment; I'll admit I wrote this before reading about the lady's death.
  5. lusky macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2011
    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?
  6. Jsameds macrumors 68030

    Apr 22, 2008
    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.
  7. benji888 macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2006
    United States
    "...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. :rolleyes: ...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. :rolleyes:
  8. Jsameds macrumors 68030

    Apr 22, 2008
    Have some respect, someone has died here.
  9. metsjetsfan macrumors 65816

    Feb 2, 2011
    Has it also been confirmed that it is in fact an iphone and not a knockoff qphone. And if so which iphone?
  10. Unggoy Murderer macrumors 6502

    Jan 28, 2011
    Livingston, Scotland
    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.
  11. Qfic macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2011
    I wish they didn't allow comments on articles like this.
  12. ArmCortexA8 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2010
    Terra Australis
    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.
  13. ItsWelshy macrumors regular

    Jul 31, 2012
    CNN are reporting that she was washing her hair in the shower at the time of incident.
  14. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    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...
  15. Skyfall macrumors newbie


    Jul 10, 2013
    Did you miss the bit where it said she was using an official Apple charger?
  16. ItsWelshy macrumors regular

    Jul 31, 2012
    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
  17. CrAkD macrumors 68040


    Feb 15, 2010
    Boston, MA
    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
  18. Dorje Sylas macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2011
    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.
  19. NachoGrande macrumors 6502a

    Mar 30, 2010
    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.
  20. dixido macrumors member


    Aug 29, 2010
    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.
  21. lusky macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2011
    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
  22. anubis72 macrumors regular


    Jan 18, 2004
  23. sshambles macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2005
    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.
  24. Sellewiet macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2012
    Ha people are questioning the facts because this happend in China? Racist much?
  25. ValSalva macrumors 68040


    Jun 26, 2009
    Burpelson AFB
    I'd be willing to bet this is the situation when the sketchy details come to light.

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