Thanks to Activation Lock, Thieves are Less Inclined to Steal iPhones
Article by George Norman
On 24 Jun 2014
Thanks to Activation Lock, a feature that was introduced by iOS 7, thieves are now less inclined to steal iPhones. Figures show that iPhone thefts dropped considerably in New York, San Francisco, and London.

The Activation Lock feature, commonly known as the “kill switch”, was introduced to deter the growing problem of mobile phone thieves. The good news is that it is working – in major cities at least.

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Back in September 2013, when iOS 7 was rolled out to the public, it introduced a entirely new user interface and over 200 new features. One of those new features was Find My Phone Activation Lock, commonly known as the “kill switch.”

If you’re not familiar with this feature, let me briefly present it to you: Find My Phone cannot be turned off unless the correct Apple ID and password are provided; iPhone users can lock down a device after it has been reported stolen; iPhone users can reactive the device with the correct credentials.

The aforementioned Activation Lock was introduced as part of an agreement between the big smartphone manufacturers. You see, mobile phone theft is a growing problem; smartphones are expensive and thieves are tempted to steal them. To deter them, Apple, Google, Samsung and Microsoft decided to introduce a smartphone “kill switch” feature.

Apple, as previously mentioned, introduced such a feature with iOS 7. The good news is that it is working. iPhone thefts in New York, San Francisco, and London have gone down considerably since the introduction of Activation Lock.
  • New York – robberies of Apple products went down 19% and grand larcenies of Apple products went down 29%, according to a report made public by the New York attorney general’s office. The report compared data from 2013 with data from the first 5 months of 2014.
  • San Francisco – robberies went down 38%.
  • London – robberies went down 24%.
“The introduction of kill switches has clearly had an effect on the conduct of smartphone thieves,” said Eric T. Schneiderman, New York’s attorney general. “If these can be canceled like the equivalent of canceling a credit card, these are going to be the equivalent of stealing a paperweight.”



Tags: iPhone, Apple, Activation Lock, Kill Switch, theft, robbery
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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