Apple’s Kill Feature Brings Down Stolen Phone Usage Drastically across Major Cities

February 12, 2015, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

It’s hard to track down your phone once it is stolen. Software resets can make the phone fully functional, making it hard to figure out whether it’s stolen.

But Apple’s Activation Lock feature had promised that it won’t allow iPhone thieves to lay their hands on the stolen one so easily. And numbers show that the company has kept its word.

It is being reported that since the advent of Activation Lock feature on iOS devices, a drastic reduction has been witnessed in the usage of stolen smartphones. A 25% drop has been witnessed among stolen iPhone usage in the New York City.

The number is encouraging for other cities too; with San Francisco witnessing a 40% drop and London witnessing a 50% drop on stolen iPhone usage.


Over the past few years, wiping out of data has curbed down the possibility of tracking down the stolen smartphone and law enforcers have been persistently after the issue. Apple announced the Activation Lock feature last year when they made the iOS 7 public. With this feature, users would have to submit an Apple ID and password to gain access for a factory reset.

Google is also offering similar services in the new Android L OS, with their Factory Reset Protection demanding users to provide the Google account password. However, the result of Google’s effort is too premature to be verified. Microsoft is also planning to bring in a similar feature to their Windows running smartphones.

The cities of London, New York and San Francisco were some among those who demanded a phone protection measure in case of thefts. A law urging the same is also to go up by July 1 on California, but manufacturers have been lining up the same even before any strict implementation, although with initial hesitance from major names like Google and Microsoft.

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