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  • Lost iPhone Prototype Ends in Suicide
    25 year-old Sun Danyong received 16 prototype iPhones from the assembly line at a Foxconn factory in China where he worked on Thursday, July 9th. An engineering graduate, Sun had landed a job handling product communications for Foxconn shortly after graduating. Within the following days Sun noticed that one of the prototype iPhones was missing. He reported the missing iPhone to his supervisor on Monday, July 13th.

    By Wednesday Sun found himself in a lot of trouble. As we already know Apple tries to keep their prototypes and future models away from the public eye as much as possible. This secrecy is a tool Apple uses to build up suspense and surprise to increase the grandeur of product launches leading to more sales, more profit, etc etc. Knowing this Sun's employer, Foxconn (who makes Apples iPhones and iPods) took quick measures to ensure that the missing iPhone was found in order to protect Apple's secrets and their business relationship.

    On Wednesday Sun's apartment was searched illegally by 3 Foxconn employees looking for the iPhone. There are also allegations floating around that Sun was detained and then physically abused during the investigation.

    Finally around 3 a.m. on Thursday July 16th Sun jumped out the window of his apartment to his death.

    Apple commented on the tragedy saying
    We are saddened by the tragic loss of this young employee, and we are awaiting results of the investigations into his death. We require our suppliers to treat all workers with dignity and respect.
    Unfortunately this kind of thing appears to happen frequently in China. According to Steven Lin, a Chinese blogger and marketer
    Students [like Sun] have been studying in schools for years, and they have been carefully protected by their parents. They can’t endure such pressure - ‘their house being illegally searched,’ or ‘house arrests’ (if that’s true, according some reports news). Employees at these and other factories sometimes kill themselves simply because of the pressure from their daily jobs — you know what’s going to happen when they face more serious threats. Also, most young Chinese guys don’t have friends who are lawyers, so they don’t know how to protect themselves in the legal system. They won’t even look for help from the legal system. They will just endure the pressure, and finally find an extreme way to end all their troubles.
    [via venturebeat] thx iphoneuser2008 for the tip
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Lost iPhone Prototype Ends in Suicide started by Cody Overcash View original post
    Comments 158 Comments
    1. Skrilax_CZ's Avatar
      Skrilax_CZ -
    1. jackNjill's Avatar
      jackNjill -
      This story to total BS. Sun's name is Korean, not Chinese. It's like asking every Chinese guy out there if they know karate.
    1. LearningMan's Avatar
      LearningMan -
      "DigitalBeat" is the source? Seriously? LOL

      Not reported or picked up on by one major mainstream outlet?

      OK. Whatever.

      Therein lies the beauty of the internet. One is free to write, read, publish and believe anything they choose.

      I'm not saying it's not true. I'm simply saying there's not near enough real proof yet to satify my BS detector (which is pretty refined after 45+ years in this industry). If it's good enough for you guys, that's up to you.
    1. mkblade's Avatar
      mkblade -
      feel sad for the family....and pity those corperations
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      Sounds too fishy.....16 prototypes with one person? Hmmmm...if it's true, it's sad but I remain a skeptic
    1. GregTheWang's Avatar
      GregTheWang -
      Quote Originally Posted by jackNjill View Post
      This story to total BS. Sun's name is Korean, not Chinese. It's like asking every Chinese guy out there if they know karate.
      Sun is a Chinese name.

      Edit: Sources: I'm Chinese and my Chinese friend's last name is Sun.

      Edit2: Scratch that, he meant the rest of his name, not the surname. I misread. Sowwy.

      If this story is true, I feel terrible for him and his family and loved ones... though I agree this sounds really shaky.
    1. nateman360's Avatar
      nateman360 -
      Poor guy. I guess phones mean more than peoples lives now a days.
    1. ykion's Avatar
      ykion -
      that really sucks
    1. berre1994's Avatar
      berre1994 -
    1. eserfeliz's Avatar
      eserfeliz -
      Quote Originally Posted by jackNjill View Post
      This story to total BS. Sun's name is Korean, not Chinese. It's like asking every Chinese guy out there if they know karate.
      yeah, because people have to stay in their country of origin in asia, no one's family would ever move to china...
    1. bsseto1's Avatar
      bsseto1 -
      Sun is Chinese, the father of modern China is Dr. Sun, Yat Sen, don't tell me he's Korean!

      I guess innocent until proven guilty doesn't apply, just be happy you live in the States. RIP Mr. Sun
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      Saw this on Macrumors earlier and some other places. I believe the article mentioned that the person had 16 because he was in charge of distributing them to the correct people.

      Sun Danyong, who was responsible for shipping prototypes to Apple,
    1. ipod touch geo's Avatar
      ipod touch geo -
      Quote Originally Posted by cjgonzales1900 View Post
      I agree somewhat this story seems true but why give this guy 16 of them and not just 3 or less, why would he need 16 of them and what was his job at the company? If he was a major tester then i could see 16 of them but if he was just a tester 1 is good enough right? something doesnt seem right they are leaving something out of this story something important.
      You are right why did Foxconn send him 16 Future iPhones?

      If was a tester I will ask for one?not 16! LOL WTF!!
    1. zoolander369's Avatar
      zoolander369 -
      All over a phone? Really?

      Who gives a SH!T?

      I love my iPhone, but it's still just a piece of technology... It's nothing compared to a human life.

      This is such a sad story. My prayers go out to the family.
    1. drrusa's Avatar
      drrusa -
      Apple confirms death of iPhone worker in China | Apple - CNET News

      I don't see anything fishy about the possibility of this story.

      According to the sources, the man worked at Foxconn. He received the prototypes directly from the assembly line AT FOXCONN...which he then was supposed to send them to the correct people. No doubt either to Apple in the U.S., or distribute them to some testers in the Foxconn company.

      What is so har to understand about that?

      This is a 4th generation iPhone, and next year's big product for Apple. Who knows what happened to the phone, how it disappeared, or whether or not Sun's death was a suicide or murder...either way, it is very sad.

      I personally believe, either it happened exactly as the story says...or worse, Sun very well could have illegally sold the phone to an Apple competitor, and they had him knocked off for fear of Foxconn discovering who he sold the phone to since the company was putting so much pressure on him and went as far as illegally investigating his home.
    1. ijoel's Avatar
      ijoel -
      Wow Thats sad
    1. hondakorn's Avatar
      hondakorn -
      hope no one makes an app out of this.....
    1. thetoothfairy's Avatar
      thetoothfairy -
      This world we live in is crazy today... I can hardly stand it anymore.... googled it and there is many links about this... how sad... and to be that afraid... and jump out of a window... I am sorry for his family...

      [ame=http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en-us&q=apple+death+worker+in+china&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8]apple death worker in china - Google Search[/ame]
    1. nikhilr51's Avatar
      nikhilr51 -
      His family should sue Foxconn. Although being a massive cooperation might not help.

      From Gizmodo:
      Labor protections in China are minimal, a situation not helped by spotty enforcement and insular company cultures—especially at a manufacturing juggernaut like Foxconn. The company has been dogged by allegations of poor working conditions over the years, such that hearing an employee may have been mistreated doesn't come as much of a surprise, save for the fact that the mistreatment was so severe that it killed him.
    1. alpawa's Avatar
      alpawa -
      I know companies are built to make money, but since Apple is so concerned about being "green" they also should be concerned about working with suppliers and companies that uphold the same labour and human rights standards as US companies do. Not paying attention to this may hinder Apples good rep and recent stock rise. Food for thought.