Number Of Stolen iPhones Down Ever Since The Introduction Of Activation Lock
If an iPhone is stolen and the Find My Phone feature has been deactivated, the Activation Lock will stop that device from being re-used by another Apple account. That is how the Activation Lock feature works, and it appears that it is quite effective in curbing iPhone theft cases.
Indeed, as reported by Reuters, the total number of iPhones that were stolen have decreased significantly in selected cities around the world in just a year after the feature was introduced by Apple to its smartphones. In New York City, iPhone theft cases are down by 25 percent. In the West Coast specifically in San Francisco, the volume of stolen iPhones has gone down by 40 percent. Even across the Atlantic Ocean in London, England, the number of cases has dropped by a whopping 50 percent.
Activation Lock was first brought on board iOS 7 back in September 2013. To function, the feature requires the iPhone owner's Apple ID and password before somebody else can get the opportunity to wipe out and reactivate one's device. Essentially, Activation Lock makes your iPhone or iPad useless to any thief who is thinking of offering your stolen device on the black market.
Law enforcers have long been pressuring Apple and other phone makers to include a kill feature in their products in order to help discourage smartphone theft cases. Apart from the Activation Lock present in iOS devices, Android also has its own anti-theft feature. As a matter of fact, Android 5.0 Lollipop, the newest version of the Android mobile operating system, comes with a Factory Reset Protection feature that requires the Android device owner's Google password in order to erase the phone.
Several US states also require handsets to have kill features. Even California has passed a kill switch bill (to take effect in July 1st of this year) that requires anti-theft security features to be activated by default in every smartphone sold within the state.
At first, some phone makers actually had reservations about kill features being required by law. Some pointed out that it might actually invite more hacking from unscrupulous parties. However, most have come to support it now.
The next step for legislators now is to persuade phone makers to activate the kill features on their phones by default. Easier said than done, of course. Sure, Apple's Activation Lock is enabled by default, but other smartphone brands mostly still require the owners of the devices to opt in.