Yet again this year, the only tech worth stealing is Apple's: 2013 in Review

Yet again this year, the only tech worth stealing is Apple's: 2013 in Review

Summary: As the 2013 holiday gift-giving season departs, it's clear that the thieves know what gifts were and will be appreciated. And they aren't Android or Windows products.


As I have pointed out in years past, crime blotters may be the better measure of who's on top in the consumer technology market. And once again, the winner is Apple.

This year, Apple stores continued to be broken into, sometimes the criminals using stolen cars to break down the front windows. This can be a significant cost issue for Apple, not just for the additional security. The glass and metal finishings require attention from contractors specializing in polishing these materials.

Yet again this year, the only tech worth stealing is Apple's: 2013 in Review
Credit: Apple.

Here are a few of the reports I pulled in a quick search:

Westampton, N.J.  Police in Burlington County are asking for the public's help in identifying an armed robbery suspect who was caught on camera.

At 7:46 p.m. Saturday, Westampton police were called to the Verizon Wireless Store on the 1800 block of Burlington-Mount Holly Road for the report of an armed man. Upon arrival, patrol units spoke with the store manager who stated a man wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt, khaki pants, a ski mask, and white Nike sneakers charged into the store wielding a handgun.

Once all of the money was in the pillowcase the suspect demanded the store manager to escort him to where the iPhones were located. The suspect demanded that the manager fill the pillow case with all of the Apple iPhone 5s. Once the iPhones were placed in the pillowcase the suspect ran out the back of the store and into a nearby neighborhood.

The suspect fled the scene with several Apple iPhones and a undetermined amount of cash.

Note that there must have been plenty of other phones being promoted at this store. I'm a Verizon customer and all the paper promotions I received were about Android phones.

Berlin. Berlin police are investigating if today’s burglary is related to several similar crimes in the city over the past week. At about 4:15 a.m. this morning, witnesses say a black Opel Corsa sedan left the roadway, sped across the 40-foot wide sidewalk without striking Apple’s outdoor product display fixtures, and crashed into the middle door of the store. The vehicle never made it inside the store, but the suspects then stole display products and fled in two cars.

In the U.S., the series of nighttime burglaries prompted Apple to install steel security grates over most of its stores with any vehicle access. But during a 2012 burglary of the Temecula (S. Calif.) store, a BMW drove through the security grating and then became trapped inside the store.

It appears that the Apple Store architects will need to design protective concrete bollards that will protect the windows and doors. Much like an embassy.

Willingboro, NJ. Township police are investigating a home invasion robbery Monday by two men armed with handguns.

Two men wearing all black clothing and ski masks brandished handguns during the 5:30 p.m. robbery at a home on Sandstone Lane. They stole a video game console and an iPhone, according to police radio dispatches.

No cash, no clothes, only an iPhone and a game console?

Milton Keynes, Middleton, England. A 22-year-old man was robbed of his Apple iPhone 5 on Tuesday morning – by a thief wearing a Christmas jumper.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the incident which happened between 11am and 11.30am close to the cricket pavilion in Evans Gate, Oldbrook.

The jumper it appears is better than military camouflage during the holidays.

And the trope about the lack of crowds in Microsoft Stores continued this year. At Slate, Matthew Yglesias showed photos of a busy Apple Store and an empty Microsoft Store and said this was evidence for the "firing" of Steve Ballmer.

The real issue is that there's nothing wrong with the store. It's a great place to shop. Much better than the Apple Store, really, because the Apple Store is crowded, and it's a little hard to get an employee's attention. At the Microsoft Store you get a very pleasant physical environment and a helpful staff. It's just that nobody wants to buy their stuff.

Harry McCracken at Time Tech riffed on the crowds theme, observing that "plenty of people are buying Microsoft products." He said he found Microsoft Stores "surprisingly pleasent:"

By contrast, Apple has always catered to those who value refinement and aren’t terribly price sensitive. And Apple Stores can be small and selective without trying to compete with big-box retailing — because there’s no such thing as an enormous brick-and-mortar store with an Apple focus.

I’m sure that the point of the Microsoft Store chain was never to generate obscene profits or steal business from other merchants. Microsoft wanted an opportunity to show its ecosystem in the best possible light, and to talk to its end customers without having to involve an unreliable middleman such as Best Buy. But if the stores I’ve visited are representative, I assume that the company is disappointed with how the chain has done.

And so am I. Maybe PC buyers prefer a lowest-common-denominator shopping experience. They’ve certainly been conditioned to expect it.

Instead, I would point the problem that Microsoft and its hardware partners have spent the last decade telling customers that there are no significant differences between Wintel platforms and that a cheaper machine is better. Now, it looks like there's a class difference and all the aspiration is leaning towards the Apple side.

Topics: Apple, iPhone, Microsoft, Windows Phone

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  • Makes sense

    Apple devices command a higher price, therefore the potential payout is much higher.
    • a bitlocker encryted

      windows device is useless to a thief
      • An unencrypted one

        Is still useless.

        Aside from work, I do not use any MS products. It didn't have to be this way, but Ballmer and his weak leadership team, made it this way.
        • It does not make any sense

          I think that policies of former president Bush, current president Obama and political situation in Timbuktu forced you to abandon anything from MS. Maybe it even caused lactose-intolerance.
          • LOL

            Nice one!!
          • But they caused MS

            To release half baked products. Ok win7 was fine, I had no issues with vista either. My xbox 360 red ringed but they replaced it and I enjoyed it, but no longer have time for games. Media center was great but they abandoned that.

            But their weak phone and tablet products caused me to seek alternatives. Dead end products like wp7 and winRt were the last straw. Geeze, they could have paid app developers to build apps and support their platform, but no, they drag their feet.

            I'm currently using Android for mobile and tablet, again due to work requirements, although we are replacing our android tablets with iPads.
          • yes media center is junk, xbmc rocks

            as far as wp8, its also rocks, all apps are there you need, but mostly because of integration you really don't need apps.

            Me I sold my nokia 920 to try my work S4 full time(ported my personal cell to google voice, awesome, goodbye $100/mo to att), I don't see a single app now that I want, just moronic candy/birds games, who cares.

            The s4 is tolerable, but no integration and simple stuff like not having tap to wake drives me nuts.

            A simple thing like a podcast is a hassle on the S4. Stitcher I guess works, but not integrated, full of ads and I can't tell it how many episodes to DL.

            Exchange email is vastly better on the S4 than the S2 though.

            I see a Nokia 929 in my future, will no cell bill, the full price purchase won't be bad at all.

            tablets are a no-buy for me, between a smartphone and desktop, it would get zero use, other than a novelty.
          • And I was right

            So... MS released windows RT. You did not like it and due to bad leadership of Mr. Balmer you stopped using all MS products.
          • Read carefully

            Ballmer and his leadership team.
          • RT will never be dead

            Windows has said from the release of Windows 8 that the goal is to unify across all devices. When they updated to 8.1 they brought the code base of RT and Phone 8 from 20% similar to 80% similar. With the next update, they will unify the code between phone8 and RT. So you could easily say Windows Phone is being abandoned as opposed to RT (both would be wrong, however). There is a difference between the words abandon and merge...
      • windows is useless anyway...

        encrypted or else.
        • You are worthless

          and whtever platform you use is an epic fail troll boy.

          Nice click bait article.
      • Shrug - BitLocker a fairly unremarkable technology

        iOS has had an encrypted file system for years, and with the new lockout systems in iOS7, the user can remote kill switch the device using Activation Lock (something BlackBerrys have also had for many years.) The device simply cannot ever be used again, unless someone enters your password.

        Call us when you get remote wipe even (without a paid subscription to InTune.)
        • remote wipe

          It's great that a user can brick their phone if it is stolen, at least the thief ALSO loses. But the person who paid for the phone is still out a phone, and has to get a replacement. Apple and the carriers love this, since they get to sell the victim another phone at full retail. As for the ones stolen from the store, those are just a bonus for the carrier, because they collect the insurance for the stolen phones, which end up getting attached to their networks and generating revenue through subscriber fees. And the carrier does not have to carry the interest subsidizing the cost of the stolen phones. No way they will brick those phones when they can just sit back and rake in the money.
      • Ah

        But would a thief know this or would they just know that Apple products always command a higher sale value? I suspect it's the latter.
      • Not useless

        Unless Bitlocker is tied to UEFI, it would only make the hard drives current content unavailable, not the device itself. In fact unless a PC is joined to a domain or a Microsoft account, the encryption key is in "the clear".

        Could be wrong with some of these appliance type devices like tablets but that is how I understand it works.
        Rann Xeroxx
    • The simplest explanation is the correct one

      Apple's goodies cost more. That is the main reason behind the thefts - to resell and profit.

      And if people stole techs, that's kidnapping. Why the industry chose to turn "technology" and "technicians" into the same dreary monosyllabic noun... that's not the English language trying to look sophisticated, it's looking lazy...
      • The issue is not cost, but desirability.

        Apple products are desirable and that is what makes them worthy to be stolen. It is the same for certain clothing items and many other products. If a product is not desirable, it has no market and is not worth stealing. There are plenty of other products that cost roughly the same as Aple products but which are not stolen because there is no market for them.
        • lol troll talks about "desire"

          forget that.
          that works only for apple fans.

          no one else finds anything "desirable" about any apple product.
          • So, ZD has a new troll

            Or an old troll with a new name.

            Either way, it is rather sad that ZD seems to still attract more that it's fair share of trolling idiots.