As law enforcement officials summoned Apple in the past to solve the iPhone theft problem, the Fruit Company finally offered a solution. With the release of the well-awaited iOS 7 at the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple also introduced a new feature called Activation Lock that should prevent iPhone theft.
The feature disables the iPhone even if the thief has turned it off or erased the data on the phone. The respective device can be reactivated only after the user logs into it with the right Apple ID and password.
According to Apple’s software vice president Craig Federighi, Apple thinks “this is going to be a powerful theft deterrent”. The activation lock feature works alongside with Find My iPhone and both of them are meant to make it harder for iPhone thieves to use or resell stolen phones.
Thefts of Apple iPhones have become so widespread that the police have named the term” Apple picking” to describe the theft. In the past, George Gascon, the district attorney of San Francisco and Eric Schneiderman, the attorney general of New York, have demanded Smartphone markers to develop new features that would prevent thefts and protect customers.
The new feature was introduced with a few days before representatives from Apple, Samsung, Google and Microsoft are supposed to meet with Schneiderman and Gascon in order to discuss the problem of smart devices theft and to find a solution to reduce the incentive for theft.
So far, Apple’s main feature to protect theft victims has been “Find My iPhone”, a program that allows people to located their smart devices on a map while displaying a message on its screen. Afterwards, the device will remotely set a passcode lock and delete data form the device. However, according to the police, thieves turned off the feature to avoid detection.
On the other hand, the new activation lock feature would prevent thieves from turning off Find My iPhone, and then, reactivating the device by asking anyone who tries to supply their iCloud username and password. Even if Federighi did not offer any other details and Apple declined to be more specific, the activation lock feature is expected to become the right solution in the iPhone theft issue.
As an alternative solution, last year, the wireless carriers stated a nationwide database that was meant to put all stolen phones to a blacklist and preventing them from being reactivated on an American network. However, despite this measure, the Phone theft has only gone up. Moreover, in several cities, it has reached a record level.