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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Tech News > Apple to aid investigation of Chinese woman killed charging iPhone 5

Apple to aid investigation of Chinese woman killed charging iPhone 5
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MacNN Staff
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Jul 15, 2013, 10:30 AM
 
Apple is "deeply saddened" by the death of a Chinese woman who was electrocuted while charging her iPhone 5, and will "fully investigate and cooperate with authorities in this matter," a company spokesperson tells Reuters. Police say that Ma Ailun, a 23-year-old from Xinjiang, was killed when she attempted to answer a call on her still-charging iPhone 5. The incident gained attention when Ma's sister made a post on Sina Weibo warning other people to be careful.

In general, Apple has had few if any complaints about charging the iPhone 5. The company did once have to recall power adapters for the iPhone 3G, but no one is believed to have been severely injured by a faulty cable. At the time, Apple claimed that a "very small" number of adapters were defective.
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 10:43 AM
 
She was probably using unapproved third-party charger made by a Chinese company. I saw some of those selling at my local Walgreens Pharmacyā€ˇ store. I am very skeptic about their safety.
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 10:46 AM
 
@coffeetime

That was the exact, same thing I was thinking when I read this article.
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 10:50 AM
 
Yeah, I mean the amount of power coming across from the charger is very small like 5 volts right and like 2amps. Shouldn't be more then a small poke.
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 12:35 PM
 
Other posters are right. An iPhone charger should be providing no more that five volts and that's not remotely enough to kill. The lowest lethal voltage for skin contact is probably in the 40-volt range and that requires exceptional conditions.

Most likely, she was killed by a cheap, third-party charger when the 115 or 230 volt line voltage shorted over to something she was touching. The UL and CE logos you see on devices mean they've been lab-tested to not allow that to happen. No logo means danger.

Also keep in mind that news reporters, here and abroad, know remarkably little about science, history and law. Worst still, they often twist stories to make them more sensational with little regard for the consequences.

Recent stories about the 787 fire in London illustrate that. The fire was half the plane away from where the closest batteries are stored. A junior high student could figure out those batteries weren't the cause, but that was well beyond the collective intelligence of the media in the UK and US. We had a day of groundless and ridiculous hysteria before experts set the story straight.

Unable to understand anything themselves, reporters also set a great store on what 'experts' say even when those experts have deceptive agendas. The population explosion hysteria of the late 1960s is a good example of that.
Author of Untangling Tolkien and Chesterton on War and Peace
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 03:08 PM
 
Report said she was wet from a bath when she answered her plugged in iPhone. Water shorted to the outlet and killed her. Not her phone or the charger. Of course now the family is denying that she came from a bath or was wet. They just want compensation from Apple. Sad.
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 03:39 PM
 
I figured water had to be involved. Where did you see the report?
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 05:18 PM
 
Wasn't there a bunch of iPhone fakes being made in China as well? I even remember reading about a host of fake Apple stores selling fake Apple products not long ago.
     
   
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