iPhone charger

Earlier this week, reports surfaced that a 23-year-old China Airlines flight attendant died after being electrocuted by her iPhone 5 charger. She reportedly suffered a fatal electric shock when she answered a call using her iPhone 5 that was recharging.

At the time, details surrounding the event were a bit foggy, with officials saying that they could not identify the source of the current that killed her. But a new report is out this morning claiming that a ‘knockoff’ charger could have been the culprit…

From the South China Morning Post (via MacRumors):

“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.”

And it also appears that the woman was using an iPhone 4 at the time of the incident, rather than an iPhone 5. As the site notes, the iPhone 4 contains stainless steel, while the iPhone 5 is primarily aluminum, which could have also played a part.

“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.”

Obviously, a full police investigation is underway. And earlier this week, Apple issued a statement saying that it too would investigate the incident and co-operate with authorities. The Cupertino company also noted it was “deeply saddened” by the event.

Coincidently, a second iPhone-related electrocution has been reported this morning. ZDNet points to a report from Beijing, claiming that a man was injured while connecting his iPhone 4 to a third-party charger. He is currently in a Beijing hospital, in a coma.

  • Pranav Shankar

    Obviously. If the charger was authentic, what are the odds one would get electrocuted after the voltage had been stepped down!

    • Dominik Odobašić

      My original iPhone charger shocks me every now and then, but only when I hold my iPhone by the metal casing. Weird.

      • BoardDWorld

        You should check that its original. I know a fake by holding it in my hands. A fake is around 62-65 grams. An original is around 85 grams. That is the standard US block without the interchangeable duck head I’m referring too.

      • n0ahcruz3

        You’re holding it wrong lol

      • Kurt

        My 3GS used to shock my ear when I tried to use it while it was charging. I think I remember feeling the current when I touched the metal too. But when I put it up to my ear I would get shocked. It was painful.

  • Ricky

    See thats why i dont buy fake charger especially from chinese. At least we pay those overpriced chargers for something hahah

    • Chuck Finley

      You’re an ignorant idiot. Even your overpriced chargers are made in China.

      • Ricky

        Yes but its quality is confirmed unlike the fake one. Look whos talking

      • Warrens Dumas

        He’s not an IDIOT, well everybody knows China is the country of fake product. Tha’s why I always care about to buy real, original things.
        The original charger is assembled in China, but design by Apple in Carlifornia. I hope you understand !!!
        _______________________________________Warrens Dumas

    • Misti curia

      Just buy a cheap lg one, at least it has a big company behind it.

  • batongxue

    Rest in peace.

  • J™

    But my iPhone is also made in China!!!! -.-”

    • Rowan09

      It’s assembled in China but its a US product. The Chinese are number 1 when it comes to bootlegging and they definitely cut corners with aftermarket parts.

    • Tonka Thor

      Hopefully Apple has some oversight into quality control. Their ass is on the line if there was ever a major malfunction in their products. It seems most American made products assembled in China are kind of safe???

  • J™

    Just read another china guy got ‘shocked’ by his iPhone4 while it was charging and he is still in coma

    • Chindavon

      That’s from his prior late night online gaming binge.

  • Dixon

    I bought a cheap unauthorised charger once for my old 3gs cause i hat less money .. It worked for 2 month then it exploded when i plugged it out if my wall socket .. Nothing happend but since this i only buy original stuff !! Freaking chinese shit sux !!

    • Taf Khan

      But the iPhone is also made in China?

      Not everything made in China sucks, only some. That could be said of many other places also.

      • Dixon

        I know .. Im talking about crap chinese unauthorised rebuilds of original products !! These rebuilds sux .. All of them !!

  • Taf Khan

    Ahem… thats a SHOCKING outcome.

    • Kurt

      Only you would mock someone who dies.

      • Taf Khan

        May she rest in peace.
        I don’t mock her… I dunno, maybe it came across like that, but not my intension.

  • n0ahcruz3

    Well if apple fix their usb charging cables this wouldnt have happened. Apple’s usb cables deteriorates easily, maybe thats why they bought a knockoff because of not so cheap price on lighting cables.

    • Tonka Thor

      Blaming Apple for bad knock off is just a bad excuse. Blame the bad knock off not Apple.

      • n0ahcruz3

        Well im blaming apple for not so durable usb cables/charging cables. Im on my 2nd usb cable because throriginal cable that came with the box has no more rubber covering next to the 30 pin adapter and its stopped fucntioning.

    • rikomenzies

      Knockoff *charger*. Not cable.

  • Arthur Geron

    Pay overpriced charges or die >: c – Apple

  • Gorgonphone

    some of the bootleg parts are really really bad though they just feel dangerous…lolo

  • Tonka Thor

    Yet another reason not to buy Chinese knock offs.

  • Alex Shen

    Dear Cody Lee,
    Please notice she’s not from “China Airlines”.

  • Kurt

    I was getting shocked on my iphone 3GS and I was using Apples chargers.

  • Al

    I guess the “flat noodle style” charger I see on Ebay is out. Oh well what’s $20 bucks?? Lol

  • anonymous

    This is why you should never buy a unauthorized charger and use only Apple-certified chargers.