Engineer commits suicide after losing iPhone prototype
Leaps from open window
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. ®
Look at all the spin by Apple fanboys here. In the UK, whenever a mistake is caused by a low civil servent, everyone would be gagging for Gordon Brown's head. But here, no, it is the security guard's fault. It has nothing to do with Foxconn or Apple. Yeah whatever. Bleeding hypocrites.
Apple fanbois = fail
a poor thing to have happenned. suicide or not, someone's at fault here. my overly developed Cynic Gland says nowt will come of it.
there are enough people likely to have a stake in the acquisition of a somewhat important product prototype that it could easily have been purposefully obtained/nicked, and that certainly seems where the 'thoughts' of those involved in 'investigating' the loss process have gone. and, i suppose, what ever pressure was placed on the poor soul, he might have jumped. They do seem very serious about personal honour and such.. it may seem alien to our western values but it should not be underestimated as cause, even if some of the specifics are suspicious in origin.
@ the people pointing at apple as complicit, i'd suggest they look at the cost of production and the customer price point and turn some degree of complicity upon themselves.
also, i'm sure i've seen a number of motherboards with Foxconn component scattered about them, intel for one used to have a major fabrication deal with them for sure.. i see no less complicity there also.
i'm certainly complicit. i buy these things as cheaply as anyone.
@Apologies to sensitive people.. the polite applause in the background shall be for you, humour blacker than the inside of a cat.
condolences, as if anything on here matters..
re: on BBC
>> On the BBC write up of this it adds that Foxconn has suspended its chief of security. That doesnt sound like the sort of thing one does if the beatings were a fabricated allegation (or even if they were just believed to be a fabrication).
Sounds exactly like the sort of thing a responsible organization would do. If you are required to investigate an allegation against an employee, the responsible thing to do is suspend them on full pay. It it turns out they are guilty, you've prevented them from doing any more harm, if it turns out they are innocent they haven't lost anything (they've gained a little free holiday). Nothing unusual about this.