Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is a company that is under a lot of scrutiny for its stock price, its business model, its devices – even what CEO Tim Cook has for lunch every day, for crying out loud. The company has developed a brand and a reputation for quality over the last 35 years, and it finds itself committing a lot of resources into any bit of news that may have something to do with reputation, image or outright quality of products, especially in target markets for the company, like China has become (see an example of that here). And one would expect that when it comes to consumer safety, that would also be a priority for Apple as well.
And in that vein, this headline that crossed our desk Monday morning should not be all that shocking – at least, outside of the story itself. Word came out of China recently that a woman was electrocuted and killed when she answered her Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone while it was charging. Apple is apparently sending its own investigative entity to look into the details of the death to see if the facts surrounding the death warrant any warnings or product recalls.
The story goes that a 23-year-old China Southern Airlines flight attendant was killed over the weekend when she had taken a phone call while her iPhone 5 was plugged into a wall outlet being charged and she had just stepped out of the bath. A message was posted to China’s largest microblogging site (Sina Weibo, the China version of Twitter) and it went viral throughout the country, warning other iDevice users to be careful – essentially telling them not to use their phones while they are being charged. No indications as to whether water was mixed in with this electricity. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is quoted as saying it sends its condolences to the family of the victim and will “fully investigate and cooperate” with this matter to come to a full resolution and develop any next steps.
As this unfortunate tragedy occurred just this past Friday and it happened in China, details are still pretty sketchy and there is not much more to go on. But what role do you think Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) can have in this?