Published in Mobiles

iPhone thieves are big fans of Apple's customer service

by on27 January 2012

They are so helpful

Apple's service programme, which replaces broken iPhones, is being used by criminals to launder stolen machines, According Reuters there is a growing trend of stolen iPhones being taken to Apple, as if broken, for either replacement or a discount on a new unit.

Robert Siciliano, who works for McAfee said that Apple did not seem to realise that the gear is stolen devices and instead is relying on the honour system. He said that the honour system is devised with the mindset that we are all sheep and there are no wolves. We can see how Apple makes the mistake.  It flogs stuff to sheep who buy what ever they tell them every year, so it does not expect someone to do something as clever as exploit its systems.

Siciliano says he has known of this problem for a while, but doesn't see any immediate solution. Until consumers scream loud enough about this issue, Apple probably won't do anything about it. One case which makes interesting reading is MIT graduate student Kayla Menard who had her iPhone snatched it from her hand.

A few days later she received an automated email that her damaged phone was repaired at an Apple Store and could she pick it up. She went to the store to try to get back her phone, but they wouldn't hand it over to her.  As far as Apple was concerned the thief was the owner.  As it turned out Apple had sold the thief a new phone at a discount.

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