Electrocuted By iPhone? Woman’s Family Says So

    July 15, 2013
    Amanda Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

The family of a woman in China who died while reportedly answering her iPhone say her body showed signs of electrocution, and they want answers.

Ma Ailun was charging her phone–which she bought at an official Apple store in China–last week when she received a call and answered it with the charger plugged in. She allegedly received a shock so great that her heart stopped, but officials are investigating the cause and haven’t released details yet.

Someone claiming to be Ma’s sister posted on Weibo–a Twitter-like site–about the incident, saying she wants not just an explanation, but a warning to users so this doesn’t happen again.

“(I) hope that Apple Inc. can give us an explanation. I also hope that all of you will refrain from using your mobile devices while charging,” the post read.

Apple released a statement, saying they intend to launch a full investigation into the matter. Experts say that a cell phone couldn’t emit enough voltage to kill someone unless the charger was damaged in some way.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of this tragic incident and offer our condolences to the Ma family. We will fully investigate and cooperate with authorities in this matter.”

A couple of years ago, Apple received reports of iPhones that were “exploding” spontaneously; three users from Australia, France and Brazil all claimed that their devices started to smoke and emit sparks, and the faces of each phone were destroyed. There was speculation that the battery may have had something to do with the incidents.

  • http://www.ssrichardmontgomery.com ron

    The 5 volt part of a charger should have been totally isolated from the 220 part ( double insulated) if a component from the 220 volt side internally touched or had an insulation breakdown to the 5 volt side then the iPhone would become “live” at 220 volts but the phone would continue to work as only 5 volts was running through it as there was nowhere for the 220 volt to return to its second wire ” The reason birds can sit on high voltage cables without getting harmed” The metal work ( earphone socket ) would be live at 220 volts the person touching it would conduct through themselves to ground if they were on a wet floor without shoes or had part of their body in contact with an earthed metal object like a tap the full 220 volts. It would be 50-50 in this fault condition to whether they got a shock depending on which way they plugged the 2 pin plug into the socket as one pin connects to neutral and has virtually no voltage on it. This applies to European electrics. in the USA it is 120 volts with 60 volts between each pin to ground in most areas so just a shock to make you drop device. Most European countries and electrics in the last few years in the uk have RCD devices which detect an imbalance between in and out of a device turning off the power before it does any harm. A fuse only protects the wiring against fire not shock. It is very important to only use 3 pin plugs on devices with 3 wires or adapters which convert pins between different countries because if the earth is not connected through the 3rd pin you could get a bad shock under fault condition or burn out your laptop, as it will earth it self through its peripherals ( usb ect) or you.

    Ron angel
    Design Eng