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Mystery 'iPhone Girl' in China Generates Internet Buzz

Who is the "iPhone Girl"?

Pictures of an Asian factory worker found on a new iPhone sold to a British customer have generated keen discussion on the Internet about her identity — and her fate.

The three pictures, posted on the Apple discussion Web site MacRumors.com, show a young Asian woman working on what appears to be an assembly line for iPhones.

Dressed in a pink striped outfit and hat and wearing white gloves with yellow fingertips, the young woman now known on the Web as the "iPhone Girl" is shown smiling and making victory signs as she poses next to an iPhone.

The MacRumors.com user who posted the photos last week, identified as only "markm49uk" from Kingston-upon-Hull, England, said in a posting that one of the pictures showed up on a new 3G iPhone when the iTunes program was launched.

"It would appear that someone on the production line was having a bit of fun. Has anyone else found this?" the posting said.

The posting received more than 360 responses on MacRumors.com, with readers commenting and speculating about the woman's age, looks and working conditions — and whether the pictures had gotten her into trouble with her managers.

"She is so fired," a reader identified as "PredatoryWasp86" said.

"That's nice that at least they have some fun in the drab of assembling technology," another reader, "BrownManUPS," said.

"She looks about 12 or 13 to me! I don't think Stevo is going to be impressed at all. It looks a little bit too much like child labor," "sibruk" wrote, referring to Apple Inc. Chief Executive Steve Jobs.

News reports say the woman may work at a factory run by an Apple contractor, Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group, in the southern Chinese boomtown of Shenzhen.

Calls to Foxconn spokesman Edmund Ding went unanswered Wednesday. Ding also didn't immediately respond to an e-mail from The Associated Press seeking comment.

But the South China Morning Post on Wednesday quoted another Foxconn spokesman, Liu Kun, as confirming that the young woman in the pictures works for Foxconn.

Liu said workers testing the device took the pictures and may have forgotten to delete them, the Post reported.

Dubbing the mystery worker "China's prettiest factory girl," China's Southern Metropolitan Daily on Tuesday quoted an unidentified Foxconn official as saying the woman was not fired.

Apple publicist Jill Tan said the company had no comment.