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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Ma Ailun, the 23-year-old Chinese woman who was killed via electric shock when answering a call on her iPhone last week, was most likely using an unauthorized third party charger, reports the South China Morning Post.

Knockoff chargers often use low cost supplies and fail to meet standards for the adequate isolation of electrical input and output, making them more dangerous than brand name chargers that are subject to safety regulations.

charger.jpg
The alleged phone and charger that were in use during the incident.​
According to Xiang Ligang, a telecommunications expert interviewed by CCTV, the charger Ma had been using may have been a "knockoff" - a fake.

"Knockoff chargers sometimes cut corners," Xiang said. "The quality of the capacitor and circuit protector may not be good, and this may lead to the capacitor breaking down and sending 220 volts of electricity directly into the cell phone battery."
The woman was also reportedly using an iPhone 4 at the time of the incident, rather than an iPhone 5 as was originally stated. The iPhone 4 contains stainless steel, while the iPhone 5 is primarily aluminum. It is still unclear what caused the malfunction, as the iPhone 4 apparently remained functional after the incident.
Xiang said that normally, the electric current from an overloaded charger would overheat the phone's casing, damaging the circuits inside and rendering the device unusable. In the case of Ma's iPhone 4, however, authorities said the phone could still be started normally despite severe traces of burning on its exterior. The phone's data cable, charger, and plug were all intact.
A police investigation into the incident is underway, and Apple has pledged to look into the accident. "We are deeply saddened to learn of this tragic incident," said an Apple spokeswoman. "We will fully investigate and co-operate with the authorities in this matter."

A second iPhone related electrocution has also been reported (via ZDNet), involving a man who was injured while connecting his iPhone 4 to a third party charger 10 days ago. The man, who is currently in a hospital in Beijing, remains in a coma.

Article Link: Chinese Woman Electrocuted by iPhone 4 Likely Used Unauthorized Charger
 

lincolntran

macrumors 6502a
Jan 18, 2010
843
471
People use knock off cables and news outlet blow the stories out of proportions and blame it on Apple, just to get attention.

Yep, that's pretty much it.
 

Technarchy

macrumors 604
May 21, 2012
6,753
4,927
Lots of people called it right, but the trolls said otherwise.

Bootleg gear can kill you...
 

Lancer

macrumors 68020
Jul 22, 2002
2,177
109
Australia
I knew the facts would come out in the end, wonder if sites that reported the original story will update the facts now?

FYI most of the time I charge my 3Gs when hooked up to my iMac and syncing the data. I've answered the phone a few times and played games, never been electrocuted once.
 

Pyrrhic Victory

macrumors regular
Feb 6, 2012
152
0
Good thing it wasn't an American, then the senate would demand to interrogate Tim Cook in another hearing while whining about how rich Apple is.
 

rabidz7

macrumors 65816
Jun 24, 2012
1,203
2
Ohio
My MBP knock of was making queer noises, I imminently threw it away, along with all the knock off schist I have.

This is why we should all use 30V DC electricity, instead of 120V and for crap's sake 220V???
 

lostngone

Contributor
Aug 11, 2003
1,431
3,803
Anchorage
If it had been a iPhone 5 we could have made jokes about the "Lightning" connector...

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My MBP knock of was making queer noises, I imminently threw it away, along with all the knock off schist I have.

This is why we should all use 30V DC electricity, instead of 120V and for crap's sake 220V???

It takes less then 1 volt to kill.
 

donutbagel

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2013
932
1
Even if it's fake, I don't see how it could electrocute her to death. Maybe she could have touched the AC power outlet, but at it seems like this thing at worst (sending the AC through the wire) would short out instead of sending the current through the body.

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It takes less then 1 volt to kill.

If you have enough current at only 1 volt going straight through someone's heart, yeah. Through skin on the hands, no. I would have been dead from a car battery.
 
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rabidz7

macrumors 65816
Jun 24, 2012
1,203
2
Ohio
If it had been a iPhone 5 we could have made jokes about the "Lightning" connector...

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It takes less then 1 volt to kill.

Not in DC at 2.2 amps. Then putting your tongue on an iPhone charger would kill. I put my tongue on someones PowerBook charger when I was 6 and nothing happens besides it stinging.
 

Dr McKay

macrumors 68040
Aug 11, 2010
3,425
48
Kirkland
It takes less then 1 volt to kill.

It isn't the voltage that kills you. It's the Amps. There's a guy at work here who survived when he didn't earth one of the cabinets in the Radar properly before he stuck his hands in there. Received a jolt of 30,000 volts. I can't remember the Amps off the top of my head.
 

lostngone

Contributor
Aug 11, 2003
1,431
3,803
Anchorage
Even if it's fake, I don't see how it could electrocute her to death. Maybe she could have touched the AC power outlet, but at worst it seems like this thing would short out instead of sending the current through the body.

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Through skin on the hands, no.

You put it to your ear and you are not wearing shoes or touching anything metal with the other hand and Mr. electricity will try and find a ground to go to.
 

moxin

macrumors regular
Feb 25, 2011
233
70
i sometimes use my HTC charger with my iPhone.
Does it fall in unauthorized category cause i never ran into any problem with that one.
 

lolkthxbai

macrumors 65816
May 7, 2011
1,400
472
Sorry I don't share your sympathy. A woman died from using a malecowdookie charger. Not my problem. 100 people died in the US today from car accidents. I won't stop driving tomorrow.

I pity you. The fact that people die everyday, especially in accidents, shouldn't be taken so lightly. I wonder if you'd change your perspective if the situation were more personal.

Now about the faulty chargers, could the two incidents be related?
 
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