Apple products have a tendency to be easily recognizable, which means that pickpockets and other criminals immediately know you have something of value just from looking at what you put to your ear or type on. The police in Oslo, Norway is now using this to catch pickpockets, by equipping undercover police with fake iPhone 5s and having them show them off in public. By pretending to answer a call, then put the phone away in an easy to reach location, the pickpockets line up to fish it back up again – just to be caught in a slightly larger net themselves by the officers waiting nearby.
Why they use fake iPhone 5s I don’t know, probably to limit the cost if the thieves get away. At first I thought they were using some sort of tracking software to catch the thieves, but instead they’re just waiting nearby for someone to steal the fake phone from the undercover officer. The iPhone 5 is quite easy to recognize as the latest and greatest invention from the company, which no doubt helps to make the undercover officers prime targets.
It’s an interesting use of Apple design, and who knows, perhaps this will cause the pickpockets that aren’t caught to stay away from Apple devices in the future. If that’s the case, I’m sure Apple won’t hesitate to add “so cool, thieves think it’s a trap” to the feature list next chance it has.