Woman ‘killed’ by iphone

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - MEDIA& MARKETING -

LOS AN­GE­LES: Ap­ple says it will in­ves­ti­gate claims that an iPhone may have elec­tro­cuted and killed a 23- year- old woman in western China, only months af­ter the com­pany’s war­ranty poli­cies at­tracted the ire of Chi­nese me­dia and reg­u­la­tory groups.

China’s Xin­hua News Agency re­ported last week­end that Ma Ailun, a for­mer flight at­ten­dant, died af­ter an­swer­ing a call on a charg­ing iPhone. The re­port and the so­cial-me­dia post­ings of Ma’s rel­a­tives, quickly went vi­ral in China, the sec­ond-largest mar­ket for Ap­ple iPhones. A lo­cal in­ves­ti­ga­tor told the Wall Street Jour­nal the woman suf­fered “an ob­vi­ous elec­tronic in­jury”.

“We are deeply sad­dened to learn of this tragic in­ci­dent and of­fer our con­do­lences to the Ma fam­ily,” Ap­ple said. “We will fully in­ves­ti­gate and co-op­er­ate with au­thor­i­ties in this mat­ter.”

The com­pany de­clined to elab­o­rate on the in­ci­dent or what may have caused it. It is un­clear whether the phone was to blame. China’s con­sumer safety agency has warned of an elec­tro­cu­tion risk from un­reg­u­lated cell­phone charg­ers, which are com­mon in China.

But on China’s Sina Weibo, fam­ily mem­bers had other the­o­ries: “I hope that all of you will re­frain from us­ing your mo­bile de­vices while charg­ing,” read one post at­trib­uted to Ma’s older sis­ter.

The in­ci­dent is the lat­est set­back for Ap­ple’s China op­er­a­tions, which have faced sev­eral con­tro­ver­sies. – Wash­ing­ton Post

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