Earlier this week we shared with you news of major OEMs signing up for the Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment, pledging their support for a system that will let users remotely lock devices, wipe data, and prevent reactivation of lost and stolen phones. It certainly sounds like a sensible enough idea, and one lawmakers have been asking for for a while now, but do we really need something like this, or are we overreacting to our fears? Based on some recent survey data, Consumer Reports suggests that we really do need someone looking out for our phones, with theft in particular on the rise.
With more and more people switching from dumbphones to smartphones every day, we’d certainly expect to see statistics like the number of phones stolen every year increase, just as sales themselves increase, but the data here indicates that theft is growing at a disproportionately fast rate. For instance, while losses of smartphones among owners in the US grew by 17% from 2012 to 2013, the number of thefts increased by an astonishing 94%, jumping from 1.6M to 3.1M last year.
With something like 150M smartphone users in the country, that’s a not an insignificant amount of theft, and should give owners who are a little more blasé in their attitudes towards protecting their phones a little pause.
How many of you have personally been affected by smartphone theft?