FCC credits Apple's iOS Activation Lock for declining iPhone thefts

As a result of Apple implementing Activation Lock on its iOS software, iPhone theft cases are on the decline. The Federal Communications Commission published a report in December detailing that iPhone thefts are down by a significant margin in major cities, such as in San Francisco, CA and New York, NY in the U.S. and London in the U.K.

The report titled Report of Technological Advisory Council (TAC) Subcommittee on Mobile Device Theft Prevention (MDTP) credits Apple's software in lowering smartphone thefts in the six months since Activation Lock was introduced.

In San Francisco, the FCC reported a 38% decline in iPhone thefts in the six months following the availability of Activation Lock:

San Francisco also provides evidence that mobile device theft prevention technologies work. In 2009, Apple smartphones constituted the vast majority (69%) of smartphones stolen in San Francisco robberies; in the six months after Apple made Activation Lock available, iPhone robberies in San Francisco declined 38%.

In New York, we have a similar situation:

New York City also provides evidence that mobile device theft prevention technologies work, as described by the Secure Our Smartphones Initiative in the "One Year Later" report, " In the first five months of 2014, just after Apple introduced Activation Lock, robberies and grand larcenies from a person involving Apple products dropped, respectively, by 19 percent and 29 percent, compared to the same time period in the previous year."

Thefts of iPhones similarly declined in London:

London also provides data that mobile device theft prevention technologies work. Thefts of iPhones decreased 24% in the six months following Apple's making Activation Lock available.

Source: FCC