Feeds

Engineer commits suicide after losing iPhone prototype

Leaps from open window

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

A Chinese engineer committed suicide after he was allegedly roughed-up by company security services when one of the iPhone 4G prototypes entrusted into his care went missing.

Twenty-five-year-old Sun Danyong, a recent engineering graduate, was employed by Foxconn, manufacturer of Apple's iPhone and iPods. According to reports from China Radio International (Google translation), VentureBeat, and others, Sun leapt to his death from the 12th floor of his apartment building on July 16th, a few days after the iPhone 4G prototype disappeared.

The reports indicate that on July 9th, Sun received 16 of the prototypes, but a few days later, he could account for only 15 of them. After searching the factory, he reported the missing iPhone to his superiors on Monday, July 13th.

Two days later, his apartment was allegedly searched by Foxconn security who, according to CRI and others, beat Sun during their investigation.

Although the beating is unproven, what happened at 3:00 am on Thursday the 16th is not in dispute: Security cameras in Sun's apartment building taped him leaping from an open window.

In a statement (Google translation) this Tuesday morning, Foxconn confirmed Sun's suicide, but questioned reports of the beating.

Apple did not immediately respond to our requests for comment. Bu Cnet quotes an Apple spokesperson as confirming the suicide, adding that "We are saddened by the tragic loss of this young employee, and we are awaiting results of the investigations into his death."

The Apple statement also noted that "We require our suppliers to treat all workers with dignity and respect."

Apple is certainly not alone in requiring strict security from its partners and suppliers. And Foxconn is obviously under great competitive pressure from all of its OEM rivals.

But something in this highly-competitive, highly-secretive world went tragically wrong. A young engineer lost an iPhone prototype. A few days later, he took his own life. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Turnbull: NBN won't turn your town into Silicon Valley
'People have been brainwashed to believe that their world will be changed forever if they get FTTP'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.