Activation Lock Drives iPhone Theft Down in Three Major Cities: Report


Smartphone theft has dropped dramatically in three major US cities, as Apple’s Activation Lock has been instrumental in making the iPhone a less attractive target, preventing thieves wiping data and reselling them, according to Reuters.

To put that into numbers: The number of iPhone thefts dropped by 40% in San Francisco and by 25% in York in the 12 months after Apple deployed its own take on a “kill switch” built into the device in September 2013. London iPhone theft dropped by 50% between September 2013 and September 2014.

“We have made real progress in tackling the smartphone theft epidemic that was affecting many major cities just two years ago,” said London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Back in June 2014, a similar report signed by New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman and San Francisco district attorney George Gascon revealed that robberies involving iDevices dropped by 19%, and those involving grand larcenies, by 29%, thanks to the Activation Lock.

The feature was the first commercially available “kill switch” Schneiderman and Gascon had been vocal about. Since then, both Google and Samsung have introduced their own similar features to Android devices.