iPhones and iPads are hugely popular, but that also means they are being dropped on pavements and in toilets in record numbers. Recovering data from any kind of damaged device is tricky, but it's especially hard with iDevices as they use a unique file system that isn't easily understood (or repaired) by consumers.
Picture by Cameron Parkins
Data recovery firm Kroll Ontrack says that it has seen a 350 per cent increase in requests for retrieving data from damaged iDevices over the last year. Data recovery in any context isn't cheap, so ensuring you have a good backup in place is vital. It's especially important with iOS devices, since they don't have a file system that can be browsed by the end user with the same ease as a computer or an external drive. As a result, if one file gets corrupted, finding anything on the device can be difficult.
If you're using the full cloud backup capabilities of iOS 5, this should be less of an issue, since you can set the device to automatically upload photos and other data. However, the photo option only works over Wi-Fi, which means people relying solely on their SIM might get into trouble. Regular backups are vital, but if you have crucial data on a damaged iDevice, I'd be seeking out a professional rather than messing with it yourself.