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Report: iPhones less likely to be damaged, more likely to be stolen

updated 12:41 am EST, Fri March 7, 2014

ProtectCell report highlights iPhone, iPad desirability; tablet thefts rising

Third-party insurance firm ProtectCell has issued a report based on its two million policies with various mobile device owners, saying that while iPhone users are 46 percent less likely than other platform smartphone owners to need a replacement device due to accidental damage, they are 65 percent more likely to have their device get stolen or go missing than other groups.

The firm also notes that when limiting repairs to screen damage or breakage, iPhone users are 11 percent less likely to need repairs than other smartphone owners. Whether iPhone owners are just naturally more careful or whether iPhones are broadly hardier than most people suspect cannot be concluded from the data, and is likely to be some combination of both.

Also included in the report was the fact that tablet users, on the whole, seem to be more careful with their larger devices than smartphone owners; they are 55 percent less likely to file for a replacement device due to screen breakage or other damage. ProtectCell reports that replacement requests by tablet owners saw a big rise in 2013 (90 percent). The company's insurance policies cover all manner of accidental damage, theft or loss. Thieves tend to target Apple devices because of their strong desirability and high resale value.

Apple has added features intended to fight back against the high theft rates by including features such as Find My iPhone, Remote Wipe, Touch ID (in the iPhone 5s), simple and complex passcodes and, in iOS 7, Activation Lock. The latter feature specifically locks the device to a users' Apple ID, meaning thieves cannot even erase the device without knowing the Apple ID of the real owner. Thus far, Android and Windows Phone do not feature any method of stopping reactivation, but those phones are likewise far less likely to be stolen due to a lower resale value.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 09-18-99

    More iPhones are enclosed in protective case.

    Just another factor conveniently omitted.

  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: 01-03-08

    So much for Samsung's reasoning on why their top-tier smartphone uses plastic.

  1. Lifeisabeach

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 05-25-10

    Paul nailed it. I rarely see an iPhone without a case. I'm something of an exception to that (and I broke the back on my 4S as a result).

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    Aw. You guys spoiled my snark!
    "So iPhone owners aren't clumsy, their just careless. ;) "

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