A Chinese girl is seen on an iPhone. British Internet user "Markm49uk" said when he unboxed his iPhone 3G last week he found a photo of the girl on the home screen. [Photo: Markm49uk/nddaily.com]
She might have done nothing more than flashed a smile to her colleague testing an iPhone's camera on a Chinese production line. But it seems the colleague forgot to delete her photos, and now worldwide iPhone fans are gearing up to locate her.
The "iPhone girl" frenzy began last week when the girl's photos appeared on MacRumors.com, a popular forum for fans of Apple products.
"Markm49uk," a British Internet user who posted the photos, said when he unboxed his iPhone 3G he found a photo of the girl on the home screen, and two more in the phone's photo album.
The photos show a round-faced Chinese girl dressed in pink, striped uniform, smiling and making a "V for Victory" gesture in what seems like an assembly line.
Many forum users commented that they found the girl "very cute." A netizen named Chris Meadows wrote, "I know that if I knew my iPhone would come with a photo of a cute, smiling girl on it, I would almost be willing to pay extra. (Especially if it included her email address.)"
Other people worry that "she is so fired" because of the incident.
"She is definitely not fired," an unidentified representative from Foxconn's factory in Shenzhen, southern China, told the newspaper Xiandai Kuaibao.
The factory assembles most of Apple's iPhones and iPods, the newspaper says.
The representative confirmed that the "iPhone girl" was one of its employees but declined to give details.
He said it was likely that the test photos were left in the phone's memory "accidentally." The company is investigating the incident.
Though the "iPhone girl" is yet to be traced, her popularity continues to grow. Someone has even created an English-language Web site, iPhonegirl.net, updated with global media reports on her.