SHANGHAI, August 27 - A Chinese factory worker has become a celebrity after her smiling face was accidentally loaded onto an Apple iPhone and shipped to the other side of the world, her employer said Wednesday.
The unidentified worker flashed a smile and made a peace sign to a co-worker whose job was to test the device's camera in the southern city of Shenzhen, said a spokesman for Foxconn, which assembles the phones for Apple.
The woman's colleague apparently forgot to delete the photo from the phone, which was sold to a consumer in Britain, who posted it on the Internet, Foxconn spokesman Liu Kun told AFP on Wednesday.
He said so far only one phone was known to be affected.
"Small mistakes are unavoidable," Liu said. "I would call this a beautiful mistake."
The photo created a stir on Internet forums after the British consumer, who identified himself only as Mark M., shared his discovery on the MacRumors.com website.
Some customers joked on the website that they were considering returning their phones because they did not come loaded with the woman's photo.
Liu said the factory worker was unsettled by the sudden fame after her photo appeared on websites and newspapers, and that her bosses had assured her that her job is safe. He said the company would not release her name or any details.
"Even passers-by recognise her face and can't help noticing her," Liu said. "She is quite nervous right now because she never experienced this much attention."
The photo was taken in the testing department as part of normal procedure and no rules were broken, Liu said.
He said Apple was very understanding and that the Taiwan-based manufacturer was working with the computer giant to prevent similar incidents from reoccurring.
But that might come as a disappointment to some.
As one person wrote in an Internet post: "It would be great for every Chinese worker who makes your iPhones to take a snap of herself or her factory friends ... a hello from a person you would never otherwise meet.
"Globalisation in practise."