In iOS 7, Apple added a new anti-theft feature called Activation Lock to the Find My iPhone service, which ties your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with your Apple ID so that your lost or stolen iOS device, cannot be used or restored without the login credentials.
The New York Times reports that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has announced that the introduction of the Activation Lock feature in iOS 7 which was released in September 2013 has resulted in a significant reduction of iPhone related theft.
“The introduction of kill switches has clearly had an effect on the conduct of smartphone thieves,” Mr. Schneiderman said in an interview. “If these can be canceled like the equivalent of canceling a credit card, these are going to be the equivalent of stealing a paperweight.”
The report notes that iPhone robberies dropped by 38 percent in New York, and fell 24 percent in London. The police in New York also reported that robberies involving Apple products dropped 29 precent in the first five months of 2014, compared with the same time period last year.
Several lawmakers in the US have been pushing for stronger anti-theft features on smartphones. Back in April, Apple, Google, HTC, Huawei, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung announced a voluntary commitment to include anti-theft technology in their phones beginning in 2015.
It is good to see that features like the Activation Lock is actually helping in reducing robberies. If you haven’t enabled the feature then I would strongly recommend you to enable it. You can check our step-by-step guide on how to enable Activation Lock if you need help.
I still think Apple needs to prevent someone from turning off an iPhone without a passcode or Touch ID, so that an unauthorized person cannot prevent the device from being tracked by turning it off. I was disappointed that Apple didn’t add this in iOS 8.[via New York Times]