A woman has died after allegedly being electrocuted by an iPhone, according to her relatives in China. The incident took place in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and claims describe that the woman experienced some kind of electric shock as she answered her call on her Apple iPhone.
- Photo courtesy of Apple
The sister of the victim, Ma Ailun, reported the incident on one of China's largest social media Internet sites, Sina Weibo, which has been described as China's equivalent of Twitter.
The victim died on Saturday as she attempted to answer her iPhone while it was charging at her home in Changji, according to China's state-run news agency Xinhua.
The social media post stated: "[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 concerning post has since gone viral across China and the globe.
Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., made an announcement on Sunday that it would "thoroughly investigate" the incident.
The victim's father, Ma Guanghui, has said his daughter's body showed signs of electrocution, and local officials have also confirmed that she did indeed die of electrocution. However, officials stopped short of blaming the iPhone, and did not specifically state that the smartphone had anything to do with the death.
An Apple Spokeswoman has said, "We are deeply saddened to learn of this tragic incident and offer our condolences. ... We will fully investigate and co-operate with authorities in this matter."
The victim's family has claimed that Ma bought the iPhone in December from an authorized Apple Store. They also confirmed that the iPhone was being charged when the victim was electrocuted.
However, doubts have been immediately raised over the authenticity of the claims that the iPhone had anything to do with the death. Experts have told Xinhua that cellphones only put out approximately three to five volts, which is nowhere near enough to harm someone.
Experts have commented that people only really begin to experience electric shocks at about 35-40 volts.
Critics however have sought to explain that if the charger or circuit was not an authentic Apple product, or if it was faulty then it could lead to a much higher voltage being output.