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A Chinese factory worker who reported the loss of a fourth generation iPhone prototype has committed suicide, an online tech website has reported.

VentureBeat reported Sun Danyong, a 25-year-old Foxconn employee, jumped out of a 12th-floor window because he was afraid of his bosses.

Sun had ordered a number of prototype phones from Apple's manufacturing partner Foxconn's assembly line, but had reportedly lost one within days of receiving them.

His apartment was searched by Foxconn employees after he reported the device missing on July 13.

He reportedly committed suicide three days later, with CCTV showing he had jumped out of the window at 3:30am.

Chinese Media reported that Sun was beaten and harshly interrogated by his superiors, and the apartment search was highly illegal.

The incident has been confirmed, with a spokesman telling reporters Apple was "saddened by the tragic loss of this young employee."

Apple is usually very secretive about upcoming releases of its products, and misplacing prototypes is a major breach of protocol.

Apple has previously come under criticism over the working conditions in the Chinese factories where their iPods are made.

Britain's Daily Mail once reported workers toiled for up to 15 hours a day and "were ruled with an iron fist by their bosses."