A research group in Washington, D.C. has suggested that the spike in violent crime, particularly robberies, in the past two years correlates with the rising popularity of the iPod line of products. They don’t really back this up with rigorous statistical analysis, they just say it. So now you know.
First, the recent increase in robbery has been disproportionately greater than increases in other economically motivated crimes, such as theft and burglary.
Second, the recent increase in robbery has been greatest among juvenile offenders, among whom iPods “are highly valued as a status symbol.”
Third, robberies increased in particular from 2004 to 2006, the very period when iPods entered the mass market and became ubiquitous among consumers.
In addition, they suggest that iPod owners are particularly susceptible to robberies because iPods offer no built-in theft protection, don’t require subscriptions to use, are prized as status items (as opposed to just being resold), and leave the user isolated and unaware of his surroundings.
They argue that past crime waves have been triggered by other high-status items like sneakers and jackets, but that the iPod is unique for how widespread a phenomenon it is.
But what we wonder is: did the iPhone caused the subprime meltdown?