The 23-year-old’s brother has given an interview saying that her family believes she received a shock when trying to answer a call on the handset. News agency Xinhua has confirmed police are investigating the death of Ma Ailun in the north-western city of Xinjiang.
But it said they had not verified if a mobile phone was the cause. Ms Ma’s older sister posted a message on the micro-blogging service Sina Weibo following her death on Thursday.
“[I] hope that Apple Inc can give us an explanation. I also hope that all of you will refrain from using your mobile devices while charging,” it read.
Xinhua said the message had been reposted more than 3,000 times. “We are deeply saddened to learn of this tragic incident and offer our condolences to the Ma family,”
Apple said in a statement. “We will fully investigate and co-operate with authorities in this matter.” According to local reports Ms Ma had been a flight attendant with China Southern Airlines and had been planning to get married in August.
Her sister said she had bought the iPhone 5 shortly after it launched in the country in December and had been using it with the original charger at the time of the incident.
Xinhua said the China Consumers Associations had previously reported a man had been killed in 2010 while making a phone call using a handset connected to the mains with an unauthorised charger.