iPhone 5 over $100,000 stolen in Japan before launch

With the much-awaited launch of the
iphone5 in Japan, the honour of being
among the first to get their hands on the
iPhone 5 has gone a bit awkward as
thieves in Japan broke into carrier stores
and carted away over $100,000 worth of
Apple’s latest smartphone.
The Wall Street Journal reports that both
Softbank and KDDI’s au were the victims of
burglaries just hours before the iPhone 5 was
set to go on sale. Three separate incidents
across Osaka resulted in a total of 191 phones
being lifted. Police estimated the largest heist,
which saw 116 units nabbed from Softbank, was
worth an estimated 7.45 million yen ($95,000).
It’s not clear whether the incidents were
connected, though proximity and timing makes
it possible that all three burglaries were
committed by the same perpetrators.
The high value of Apple devices makes them
frequent targets of theft. Apple has had
difficulty with smash-and-grab burglaries that
take advantage of the glass doors in many of its
retail stores. One recent high-profile incident
involved a BMW SUV crashing through a
storefront in Temecula, California.
Friday morning’s burglaries do slightly mar the
launch of Apple’s new gadget, but expected
record sales should more than make up for the
unfortunate incidents. Apple pre-sold more than
2 million iPhone 5 units in the first 24 hours of
availability, and the company’s own estimates
suggest new orders won’t be shipped for 3-4
In nine countries around the world, legitimate
owners of the iPhone 5 will begin purchasing the
iPhone 5 on Friday. The Next Web obtained two
units for testing the new HD Voice feature on
the Telstra network in Australia. Call quality was
clearly better with the devices, though it could
still stand for improvement.
Teardown experts’ iFixit also made their way
out to Australia to get early access to the iPhone
5. After breaking down the handset, they found
it to be substantially more repairable than
previous versions of the iPhone.

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