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iPhone to become most stolen phone in the UK?

The iPhone will be launched in the UK in a few days and may well become a status symbol icon at launch for thieves and criminals, although Apple says that iPhones can't be unlocked or unblocked.

But let's face it. Many teenagers use their £200 mobile phones to listen to music blasted on their speakers where a £1 radio could do the trick.

Jack Wraith (opens in new tab), chair of mobile phone trade body the MICAF (Mobile Industry Crime Action Forum), argues that the iPhone is iconic and will become one of those nice-to-have items.

The news come as the MICAF announced that Mobile operators (opens in new tab) are successfully blocking every phone on their own networks within 24 hours if reported stolen, according to tests run by group.

Home office statistics depict a worrying trend though as 800,000 mobile phones are stolen each year, which represent around one of every 70 mobile phones sold in the country.

What's more (opens in new tab), many of these stolen mobile phones end up abroad where even older mobile phones still carry some value and unblocking/unlocking is not seen as illegal.

Furthermore, foreign networks (opens in new tab) do not always have a record of the stolen IMEI which makes transactions far easier.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.