BlackBerry Ltd Devices Still Popular, But Among Phone Thieves

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) may be suffering from a declining user base in the wake of fierce competition from Android and iOS, but it is still a popular brand among thieves. The Canadian smartphone maker’s phones are one of the most-stolen smartphones in the United Kingdom, according to data released by the Home Office.

Many BlackBerry models on theft list

The BlackBerry 9790 model is targeted by thieves most after the iPhone. According to the data, the most-stolen phones are all iPhone models followed by BlackBerry smartphones. Samsung and HTC devices are also on the list.

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone 5 is the most sought-after phone by thieves, followed by the iPhone 5C, 5S and 4S in the top four. Apart from the Blackberry 9790, other devices from the manufacturer that are in the top 20 are the Blackberry 8520, Z10, 3G, 9900 and 9780.

Other smartphone brands that made the top 20 list are the Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4, HTC One X, One S and One, iPhone 4, and Samsung Galaxy Note.

New security apps working

The Home Office noted that after iOS 7 was rigged with new security features, the black market value of the handsets was reduced. New apps and tools which led to tracking and locking of the stolen device are also key factors in reducing black market value.

“The mobile phone industry is already taking vital action to introduce features that enable phones to be tracked and wiped if they are stolen,” said home secretary Theresa May, who added that the new and innovative security tools have pulled down the theft rate by 10% in the last year.

According to The Home Office, the reasons behind a phone being stolen are many, including the “desirability of the phone and ease of accessing personal data along with the potential risk of being tracked after stealing.” Further, the data reveals that mostly iPhones are stolen directly from their owners either through pick-pocketing or when the owner is not around the phone on a table or at a bar. Those aged between 14 and 24 are usually the victims of theft, along with women.

The report concluded that there were 742,000 incidents of mobile phone theft in England and Wales over the past 12 months, while last year, the figure was 100,000, according to the Metropolitan Police Service in London.