GadgetTrak Blog

Yes Sir May I Buy Another: How Apple Profits From iPod Theft
Thursday, July 26, 2007

Of course I am not going to say that Apple promotes iPod theft, however I can make a case that they do profit from it. Because odds are that once you iPod is stolen you are going to buy another one.

Witnesses to the Crime

Those who own iPods invariably also have iTunes installed on their computers, which also connects to the iTunes store. When you connect to the iTunes store that the serial number of your iPod is sent to Apple and that if your iPod were stolen Apple could do something about it, by identifying the perpetrator. But is this really a business that they want to get into?

Why Apple Doesn’t Save the Day?

So why is it that Apple does not assist their customers when their iPods are stolen? The short answer is that it would be a privacy nightmare for Apple to track customers in this way as they have a great deal of personally identifiable information available to them which they can tie to a device.  If Apple were to start helping folks recover stolen iPods by tracking devices down by their serial numbers it would bring attention to the very fact that THEY ARE TRACKING YOU. This would be bad PR and the benefit of helping a handful of customers who have had their iPods stolen would not be worth the added logistical, legal and PR issues that would arise if they started doing this and it would seriously affect the bottom line.

iPod Theft Makes Repeat Customers

If you are an honest Joe, who saved hard to buy your iPod odds are you also purchase music through iTunes legally. The music purchased on iTunes by default are in a proprietary format that only Apple music players can play, unless you illegally convert the files to another format (or you can purchase the rights to download in a different format which costs more money).

Choose A New Player: As Long As It Is An iPod

If your iPod is stolen, what are your options if you want to load your library of legally purchased music onto another player. Well you have many choices as long as it is an iPod, say an iPod Nano, iPod video, iPod Shuffle and the friendly folks at Apple even let you choose your color, even a cute red one that just screams “I am a bright red iPod, please steal me”.

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