Apple iPhone 4s fatally electrocutes a 28 year-old man in Thailand

Apple iPhone 4s fatally electrocutes a 28 year-old man in Thailand
Apple is beginning to have a major PR problem on its hands as another person received a fatal shock from one of its iDevices. This time, a man in Thailand allegedy was electrocuted while charging his Apple iPhone 4s. According to a local Thai newspaper, the 28 year old was found deceased, lying prone on the floor, clutching a burnt Apple iPhone 4s in one hand. The phone was purportedly connected to a third party charger.

A whole series of deadly stories kicked off this past July when a flight attendant was supposedly killed from a shock that was emitted from her Apple iPhone 5 while it was being charged. The phone rang and 23 year-old Ma Ai Lun died when she answered the call. Since then, a number of gruesome incidents took place, including one involving a shock that was released from an 8 year old's Apple iPad. The girl's father was on the receiving end of that jolt which sent him hurdling across the room.

Considering that most of the incidents involved a third party charger, Apple took great pains to educate iDevice owners about the differences between third party and original equipment. Apple even offered a discounted Apple made charger for just $10, to those trading in a third party unit.

As it turns out, in the latest story, the deceased was apparently talking on the device while it was plugged in. Pictures of the equipment involved in the electrocution show that the charger was a blue colored model, not the official white charger that comes in the box with the phone. Once again, it looks like a third party charger is to blame, but this might not be enough to cool off a nervous public in the region, one that might decide not to tempt fate regardless of who manufactured the charger.

source: DailyNews (translated) via MacRumors

Related phones

iPhone 4s
  • Display 3.5" 640 x 960 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Processor Apple A5, Dual-core, 800 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB



1. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

Hurled across the room? I doubt that. Can the jack even produce a deadly shock? Its cant be a 220. What are the amps and volts on those batteries?

16. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Don't know about hurling someone across a room, but Europe runs I believe either 220 or 240V. Unsure about Asia, but the reasoning behind it is, the higher the voltage, the smaller the wire needed to carry the same amount of current. Where we here in the states need 14ga+ for our wiring, Europe can use lamp cord (18-20ga) for the same amount of current. Ohms law, voltage ÷ resistance = current.

20. eisenbricher

Posts: 973; Member since: Aug 09, 2012

Asia (at least here in India) we run 220-240v

21. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

I undertand that, but why would they want to run 220/240s anyway? Its less safe and do people really complain that their wires are too thick or what. I guess it's how it's been and its probably too expensive to switch. At least their appliances are all good and can get enough juice. lol

24. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

A defective outlet could overvolt and kill you. So can a lightning strike that hits near your house if you where holding your phone and it put out enough energy. I have had a few things fried by lightning strikes.

27. Andrewtst

Posts: 696; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

I think all Asian voltage is 220/240.

33. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

That's their electrical standard, just as we have our own here. People aren't complaining about their wires being too thick, it comes down to money. The lower the wire gauge number, the larger the diameter of wire. The larger diameter wire, the more copper used, and copper isn't cheap. When I was an installer, I remember hearing about thefts of spools of copper wire, people ripping out copper plumbing pipe from vacant buildings, etc. You may not think it adds up but it does. Higher voltage may hit you harder, but it only takes around 26mA to kill you, depending on your body resistance, and that's a miniscule amount of current. A standard phone charger is 1-2A, or 1000-2000mA, so under the right conditions, almost anything that can be plugged into a wall socket can kill.

71. Tråget

Posts: 5; Member since: Nov 14, 2013

If it only takes 26mA to kill you. Do you really think chargers would be allowed to give 2000mA? Let alone the sockets, at least here in Sweden that gives up to 10-16A at 230V. And I will admit that I don’t have a clue how the electric works in Asia, but normally the fuse should blow as soon as you short-circuit the current? At least that's how it works in Sweden... But on the other side we have very high security standards here, maybe that's why we don't die if we put our fingers in the fuse box! :-P

74. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

The electrical resistance of the human body is 100kΩ in dry conditions, therefore 2600V would be necessary for a current of 26mA to pass through it. However, sweat and water can reduce its resistance to mere 1kΩ, when 26V could be fatally hazardous. Moreover, electric shock usually breaks the skin, when the resistance is then just 500Ω, opening multiple pathways for the electric current to kill someone: the heart, the diaphragm, the nervous system, etc. I guess that the proliferation of portable devices that require charging probably increases the number of electric shock, which puts great responsibility not only on makers of chargers, but also of devices, who shouldn't count on perfect chargers to protect the users from electrocution.

76. JakeLee

Posts: 1021; Member since: Nov 02, 2013

Ahem.... You won't believe how it works in China. They cheat you at every corner to save one single cent. There are even faked eggs!!! You can visit famous winery and make purchase at the shop there. They are faked ones. Cigarettes sold at duty free shops at airports are also fake most of the time. The Chinese themselves say "Everything can be a fake except for your mother" THERE IS NO FUSE. PERIOD.

35. TheOldOne

Posts: 196; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

220V, 50Hz in Europe. You can get a pretty good shock if this passes through the USB cable and, through the metal rim of the iPhone right on your skin. Normally, you should not have more than 5V over the USB, this does not even penetrates skin, and you berely feel it it if you put your tongue on it (DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!)

57. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

That's why I said under the right conditions.

64. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

The higher the voltage, the smaller the current to carry the same POWER (Joule's Law: power = voltage • current). Lower voltages are preferred, but it requires more copper in wires, so those regions with little access to cheap copper went for higher voltages.

38. Username.

Posts: 74; Member since: Nov 25, 2013

Where are all the iFans, Apple users.... nowhere to be seen....! Now this is the 4rth major incident: All hiding away......

42. promise7

Posts: 894; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

Hiding from what? He was using a unauthorized knockoff charger which Apple specifically says not to.

60. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

But it only seems to be happening mainly with iPhones and no other phone. I am pretty sure more people use other phones in Asia and everywhere else even, so why aren't we hearing the same issues with those phones? The third party charger is only part of the issue, but the fact that this only seems to be largely happening with Apple gear is probably pretty telling of a product design flaw as well.

62. darkkjedii

Posts: 31321; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

63. darkkjedii

Posts: 31321; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

66. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

iPhone owners are more prone to electric shocks because of its metal casing. Most phones have a plastic casing, which is a poor conductor of electricity.

48. darkkjedii

Posts: 31321; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Why would we be hiding? This is for apple to deal with, not us. I use only what comes in the box, and never have I had an issue, only superb performance. "All hiding away......" For what?

49. remtothemax

Posts: 260; Member since: May 02, 2012

not that i use apple or am an "ifan," but the reason people are not complaining is that this isn't even about apple. apple doesn't have a pr problem, terrible kirf companies have a pr problem. the only message i am getting from each of these cases is don't buy anything designed by the chinese. stick to foreign companies. apple shouldn't be doing anything. the chinese government should be doing something, because if anything these cases have shown why you should always buy apple products and why you should never buy anything designed in china.

52. darkkjedii

Posts: 31321; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Well said, there's a reason this keeps happening in china and neighboring places. +1

2. Obama

Posts: 13; Member since: Oct 10, 2013

Very Sad. The phone makers should learn from these incidences. Now should be the time to invest in making the device safer instead of just concentrating on making phone with better specs.

17. Dingy_cellar_dweller

Posts: 339; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Its the metal body conducting the power. Plastic body phones are safer as less likely to conduct electricity, since they are fully insulated.

18. Obama

Posts: 13; Member since: Oct 10, 2013


3. oNEWorld

Posts: 140; Member since: Aug 01, 2013

Typical apple device. Overcharging and their devices can't even handle a 3rd party accessory. Prob just a scam to get more ppl to buy apple made chargers instead of cheaper priced ones from amazon.

6. woodshop20

Posts: 459; Member since: Sep 14, 2013

My Sony Xperia (older than that 4s) has been using a third-party charger for years now, and I still haven't experienced any problems yet. Apparently the trend is: iPads = explode iPhones = electrocute I wonder what the upcoming iWatch will do...

28. JakeLee

Posts: 1021; Member since: Nov 02, 2013

You could put your suXperia in a Sony microwave, turn it on, then sue Sony. Uncertified third party charger, game over.

10. JC557

Posts: 1920; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Well, it mostly happens in Asian countries where counterfeits are rampant which lack any kind of testing/ certification or any enforcement. A lot of 3rd party stuff in the US has the UL logo/ seal.

53. remtothemax

Posts: 260; Member since: May 02, 2012

i think it is significant that this seems to only be happening in china where there are no regulations for things. this doesn't seem to happen in places like the us which has a significantly higher apple user base. the problem is china, not apple.

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