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Apple confirms death of iPhone worker in China

Apple is "saddened by the tragic loss of this young employee," following Chinese media reports of a worker's suicide over a missing iPhone 4G prototype.

Update at 10:15 a.m. PDT: Comment from Apple added.

Apple confirmed on Tuesday the death of a man who worked at an iPhone plant in China.

According to various Chinese media reports, the worker at Chinese manufacturer Foxconn committed suicide last week after a fourth-generation iPhone prototype for which he was responsible went missing.

"We are saddened by the tragic loss of this young employee, and we are awaiting results of the investigations into his death," Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet told CNET on Tuesday. "We require our suppliers to treat all workers with dignity and respect."

Apple did not comment on the details of the worker's death, allegations regarding Foxconn's questioning of the worker, or the status of the allegedly missing phone prototype.

Various English-language sites have been repeating and translating Chinese media reports.

According to Chinese media, 25-year-old Sun Danyong was responsible for shipping iPhone prototypes to Apple. Danyong reported the missing device to Foxconn after realizing that one of the 16 iPhones he received was no longer in his possession.

Foxconn is Apple's longtime manufacturing partner in China. Apple has used the company to manufacture all of its iPods and, more recently, all of the iPhone models.

Foxconn did not immediately respond to requests for comment.