4G iPhone prototype goes missing

Chinese media is reporting that a fourth-generation iPhone prototype has gone missing in China, and the worker responsible for it - 25 year-old Sun Danyong - has committed suicide.

The man worked for Foxconn, a manufacturing company behind many big western electronic brands, including Apple. He was tasked to ship the prototypes between the two companies, but something went amiss in transit.

On 9 July, Danyong was apparently given 16 phones from the assembly line at the local factory. During the next few days, he discovered one was missing and searched for it - informing his manager of the loss on 13 July. On 15 July, three Foxconn employees illegally searched his apartment, and some claim that Danyong was detained and physically abused during this time.

The following day, a little after 3am, surveillance videos in apartment complex recorded him jumping out of a window to his death.

The secrecy surrounding Apple's new products is legendary. Foxconn's business relationship with Apple could be considerably harmed if a prototype leaked out to the wild. The lost phone hasn't surfaced yet, but it's not even clear if it did leak out - It might just be somewhere in the factory.

Many have commented that it's hard to believe that such a prototype could legitimately be so important, however, that it's worth a person's life. Foxconn's statement on the matter says that it's investigating a section chief of the Central Security Division for possibly using "inappropriate interrogation methods" in his investigation.

It'll be interesting to see how Apple responds, if it does. We'll keep you posted.