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Partner Business Opportunity in Stolen Apple Devices

There may be a bigger opportunity for partners in helping their customers protect their Apple iPhones and iPads than anyone realized.

Sure, many of us have heard that MSPs and other partners can help customers lock down their Apple devices. But assisting customers in configuring their devices using Apple's cloud to have them ready to lock, wipe or locate devices that are swiped by criminals seemed like something of a niche.

It turns out that stealing Apple-related stuff is a growth industry, at least for criminals in New York City. In a speech Tuesday, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly blamed a 40 percent jump in the theft of Apple products for a recent jump in the overall crime rate.

"Overall crime is up 4 percent.  In the absence of the Apple thefts, we would be experiencing a decline," Kelly wrote in the speech, according to a report on NBC News.com (formerly MSNBC.com). According to Kelly, there were 11,447 thefts of Apple products so far in 2012.

Kelly is encouraging users to turn on the tracking and automatic shut-off technologies, and the NYPD will be putting more undercover officers on patrol in subways.

Last year, we wrote about a Microsoft partner who helped a customer with a similar situation -- an iPad stolen from his hands while waiting for a Boston train. In that case, the partner got on the phone with authorities, helped guide them to the stolen device and made an alarm go off on the iPad, causing the perpetrator to pull it out of his backpack and allowing officers to identify the person.

I'm not sure what the situation is in Boston now, but I can say that on a recent trip to New York I was struck by how ubiquitous the iPhone seemed to have become there. For partners whose customers have iPhones and iPads (read: nearly all partners) this NYPD statistic could be the start of an important conversation that protects the customer and gets the partner some well-earned services revenue.

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 03, 2012 at 11:58 AM


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