Electrocuted woman may have been using unauthorised charger

Macworld Australia Staff
19 July, 2013
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New information has come to light in the case of the death of 23-year-old Ma Ailun, the young Chinese woman electrocuted when she answered her iPhone while it was charging. Contrary to initial reports and claims made by her sister, Chinese state media, CCTV, has claimed that she may have been using an unauthorised battery charger, according to a report in the South China Morning Post.

The station interviewed a telecommunications expert named Xiang Ligang, who suggested that Ma may have been using a ‘knock-off’ or fake Apple charger.

“Knock-off chargers sometimes cut corners,” Xiang told CCTV. “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 cellphone battery.”


A CCTV screenshot of the phone and the charger, which does not appear to be the standard Apple mainland design. Photo: Screenshot via CCTV

CCTV also refuted claims that Ma was using an iPhone 5, claiming that the exterior of the device was stainless steel, meaning it was an iPhone 4 (iPhone 5s have an aluminium outer).

This crucial difference meant that instead of the electric current from the overloaded charger overheating the phone’s casing and damaging it inside and out, Ma’s iPhone 4 could still be used after the accident. “The phone’s data cable, charger, and plug were all intact,” concluded the South China Morning Post.

by Macworld Australia staff

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