iPhone prototype suicide case had previous violations, says Foxconn
Sun Danyong, the 25-year old employee of Apple contractor Foxconn who committed suicide after losing a prototype iPhone reportedly had a history of misplacing secret prototypes, Foxconn told reporters yesterday.
After a prototype next-gen iPhone that was Sun's responsibility went missing, he became the target of an investigation that allegedly involved physical violence and humiliation. Shortly thereafter, Sun plunged off of a twelve story apartment building to his death. Investigators said there were no other suspicious markings on his body and determined that it was suicide.
Apple issued a public apology, and Foxconn has given monetary compensation to Sun's family, reportedly including more than $44 thousand and a free Macbook.
But it is still unclear if Sun was engaged in industrial espionage or if Foxconn used unduly harsh techniques to question him. General manager of Chinese operations at Foxconn James Lee, however, claims Sun Danyong actually lost track of secret prototypes in the past and that his explanations for this one were not convincing.
"Several times he had some products missing, then he got them back...We don't know who took the product, but it was at his stop," Lee said.