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The 5 strangest iPhone deaths

An iPhone insurer spills some of the weirdest tales he's heard

What do toilets, beer and lifts have in common? They all send Apple iPhones to their deaths, says consumer electronics insurer Worth Avenue Group, which shared some unfortunate tales of iPhone disaster.

The more gadgets you have, the more chance you have of losing or breaking it. Smartphones meet their doom everywhere - on tabletops, in the bathroom, and even in elevator shafts. As Apple's iPhone is one of the most popular smartphones available today, it's no wonder that accidents and disasters involving the device are on the rise, too.

Like a car, the more you drive it, the more likely you'll get into a wreck. The more places you go, the greater the odds that your car will be stolen.

Lately, Aaron Cooper, marketing director at Worth Avenue Group, a company that insures consumer electronics against accidental damage, theft, vandalism, fire, flood and natural disasters, has seen some odd cases come through the door.

Two-thirds of all claims fall into three categories, says Cooper: Liquid damage, cracked screens and theft. But exactly how iPhones get wet or why screens crack can be, sadly, entertaining.

Flushing the iPhone

Public enemy number one of the iPhone is water. I ruined an iPhone after accidently putting it in the washing machine. But perhaps the most-odd form of liquid damage is when people drop the iPhone in the toilet.

Cooper has seen a rise in this type of claim. He figures people are using the iPhone while they're, um, unavailable. They're reading the newspaper or a book on the iPhone, or maybe texting. Last year, Harris Interactive (on behalf of Intel) surveyed 2,625 US adults about what they consider proper smartphone etiquette during the holiday season. Three out of four respondents said it's perfectly appropriate to use your smartphone in the bathroom.

Yet one twist on this disaster has Cooper stumped. "Women seem to be the ones dropping them in the toilet more often," he says.

iPhone and beer don't mix

Many of Worth Avenue Group's customers are university-age kids, and their iPhones don't mix well with their habits. A night of hard partying can easily lead to a missing or damaged iPhone, Cooper says.

iPhones often get stolen, he says, when someone plugs their iPhone into a stereo system at a house party. The unattended iPhone goes missing after the music stops. iPhones also get lifted at bars when the iPhone owner isn't carefully watching it, like the iPhone 4 prototype stolen from an Apple engineer at a Silicon Valley watering hole.

And then there's the potential for liquid damage. We're not talking about a spilled beer, either, although that's a risk.

"I've had iPhones come to us in a plastic bag after someone who had too much to drink got sick on it," Cooper says.

NEXT PAGE: Call of the wild >>

  1. The weirdest tales one insurer's heard
  2. Call of the wild

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