Plugging in your smartphone before bed is now as natural to most people as setting an alarm clock, but a recent report from China offers a new reason to be wary of sleeping next to a charging phone.
On July 24, an unnamed 18-year-old woman was found dead in her bed, apparently electrocuted by her iPhone 4S.
Coroners determined that the woman had been killed by an electric shock from the phone.
This is at least the second death in Xinjiang involving a plugged-in iPhone in the past year. In 2013, 23-year-old flight attendant Ma Ailun was electrocuted after she answered her iPhone 5 while its battery was charging.
An investigation found Ma had been using a third-party charger. In response, Apple announced it would offer official replacements for counterfeit chargers.
The danger of sleeping next to cell phones is not limited to China. In Texas, 13-year-old Ariel Tolfree awoke to find that her charging Samsung Galaxy had burned up under her pillow while she slumbered.
Samsung took pains to point out that Tolfree’s phone was using a replacement battery not produced by the company. Still, it replaced her phone, mattress and pillow all the same.