Internet trends: marketing research & predictions

Where’s the Buzz: The iPhone Girl

August 30th, 2008 by

iphone Girl

A Foxconn Taiwanese factory worker become an Internet buzz after a picture of her smiling and flashing a peace sign to a co-worker testing an Apple iPhone stayed on the phone that was sold to a man in Britain. The iPhone customer,  identified as “markm49uk”,  reported his finding on along with posting three pictures of the “girl” he found on his phone. This set off a global chain reaction of media interest & culminating in the quest by China’s “Human Flesh Search Engine” to discover her identity.

China’s Human Flesh Search Engine is a poor translation of the Chinese phrase ren’rou sou’suo ??????, an increasingly frequent phenomenon of online crowds gathering via China’s BBS, chat rooms, and IMs to collaborate on a common task.

Some speculated the girl’s age to be about 12 or 13, and whether a harmless snapshot may be a small glimpse into child labor abuses.  A Gizmodo reader rated “iPhone girl” a 5.5 out of 10 on the cute scale.  Some people voiced concern that the woman could now lose her job while one dubbed it as a “nice personal touch “. Local netizens created a website for her,, and urged netizens not to human-flesh search and publish her personal data. Amid the all speculations “iPhone girl” recorded over 20 million searches on Google’s Chinese search site, & became a fastest growing term in Baidu, making her an Internet Celebrity overnight.

iphone girl buzz in Blogs

“iPhone Girl” buzz in Blogs

The Internet breathed a sigh of relief when representatives from Foxconn confirmed that “iPhone Girl” was a worker at its plant and declared the photos were a “beautiful mistake”. China’s Southern Metropolitan Daily dubbing the mystery worker “China’s prettiest factory girl”, later reported that the woman was not fired.

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2 Responses

  1. charles Says:

    Lol this is hilarious. She is very cute and of course she should not be fired. She should actually get a raise for all the press she has started for the new iphone. I wouldnt be surprised if this is one of Steve Jobs’ great marketing techniques.

  2. Apurba Sen Says:

    Thanks Charles ! Beautifully stated – a raise for the all the free press. However seeing the sequences of events ,I doubt it could be pre – planned .

    Happy Trendsspotting!

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