Which SA smartphones are popular with thieves?

A survey has revealed that cheaters are becoming more bold with the help of smart mobile technology. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
A survey has revealed that cheaters are becoming more bold with the help of smart mobile technology. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Cape Town - Owning a smartphone brings with it an inherent possibility of theft, and knowing which phones are most at risk could be a significant factor in buying decisions.

According to Vodacom's insurance arm, theft and loss make up 60% of claims, followed by physical damage which comes in at 35%, and liquid damage at 5%.

Vodacom has subsequently also given Fin24 lists of phones that are most at risk of theft, loss or damage.

Here is the rank of smartphones with the highest number of theft or loss claims according for Vodacom:

1.    Vodafone / Vodacom branded devices
2.    Huawei
3.    BlackBerry
4.    Samsung
5.    LG
6.    Ericsson
7.    Nokia
8.    HTC
9.    Apple

In terms of being damaged, the iPhone ranks the highest on the operator's insurance claims. The cost of Apple devices is generally higher than other handsets and this should be factored into the equation.

Here's the list:

1.    Apple
2.    HTC
3.    Nokia
4.    LG
5.    Ericsson
6.    Samsung
7.    BlackBerry
8.    Huawei
9.    Vodafone / Vodacom branded devices

You can track your iPhone with iCloud in your web browser. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

It is also important to note that not all customers are likely to effect a repair through the mobile operator. Samsung recently announced a dedicated speedy repair centre in major centres.

Modern smartphones, though, remain costly to repair.

Replacing the display on a Samsung Galaxy SIII can cost R1 842.11 excluding VAT, while damage to the main camera will set you back R419.60 (ex VAT).

Regardless of manufacturer warranty, it is always advisable to insure your new smartphone against theft and breakage - which includes liquid damage.

Some insurance packages, specifically, for mobiles start at R85 per month, but if you bundle these devices with your household contents insurance, you can pay as little as R47 per device per month.

These lists are general and it is unclear whether specific models rank particularly higher than others. For example, the several versions of the iPhone are operational on SA mobile networks.

The list also reveals that having a tracking system app on your phone may go a long way in limiting theft or loss.

On Android, enable location reporting with Google Location History and you may be able to track your device with Android Device Manager in any web browser.

On iPhone, enable tracking by going to Privacy -> Location Services. Simply navigate your browser to iCloud.

Have you had your smartphone stolen? Tell us what brand it was.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter

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