Engineers normally don’t commit suicide since they know how to live. Unfortunately, a young Chinese engineer at FoxConn, Apple’s Chinese iPhone manufacturer, committed suicide after a prototype of Apple’s 4G iPhone went missing. The engineer, Sun Danyong, was given 16 prototypes of Apple’s iPhone 4G to ship to Apple but could only account for 15 a few days later. It is alleged the young graduate engineer was severely roughed up by Foxconn security and felt so humiliated he decided to jump to his death from a 12-storey building to end the pain. Though Sun was not an Apple employee the public might say his blood is partly on Apple’s hands. FoxConn’s security chief was suspended without pay but is still alive. Apple’s statement on the issue said “We require our suppliers to treat all workers with dignity and respect.” The statement did not specify if dignity and respect is required before, during, or after a 4G prototype goes missing in China.
I am almost sure both Apple and FoxConn believe the life of a young Chinese engineer is worth more than a 4G prototype, regardless of which version firmware is installed or competition on the horizon.