Reports have circulated the internet that a 25-year old worker at Chinese manufacturer Foxconn, which produces all the iPhone models for Apple, committed suicide last week following revelation that a fourth-generation iPhone prototype, one of the 16 iPhones he was responsible for, had gone missing. Some stories circulating have described illegal searches of the man's apartment and interrogation involving physical abuse by other Foxconn employees. While not confirming the case being a suicide or the cause being the disappearing device, a spokesperson for the Cupertino-based company did release a statement corroborating the news of his death, saying that it is "saddened by the tragic loss of this young employee, and we are awaiting results of the investigations into his death. We require our suppliers to treat all workers with dignity and respect." The status of the missing iPhone prototype, which may or may not have been one that earlier this month found itself on eBay given the timeframe (although a 3GS model and not "fourth generation") remains unknown. Our hearts go out to all involved.

Read - Statement form Apple
Read - iPhone prototype goes missing; Chinese worker investigated, commits suicide

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Apple confirms and expresses sadness over death of Chinese iPhone prototype handler