iPhone theft down by 40% in San Francisco, 25% in New York thanks to Activation Lock

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus insurance: Should you buy AppleCare or something else?
iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus insurance: Should you buy AppleCare or something else?

The introduction of Activation Lock was credited by the FCC in December as the main factor behind the reduction in iPhone-related theft, and new data suggests that the trend has continued since. The latest numbers reveal a decline of 40 percent in the number of iPhones stolen in San Francisco and 25 percent in New York between September 2013 and September 2014.

The number of iPhones stolen in London was reduced by half during the same time period, with mayor Boris Johnson stating:

We have made real progress in tackling the smartphone theft epidemic that was affecting many major cities just two years ago.

Activation Lock made its debut with iOS 7, with the feature allowing users to remotely lock an iPhone with their iCloud credentials, requiring authentication with Apple before the device can be accessed again.

California passed a law in August 2014 that requires all smartphones sold in the state to include a kill switch by July 2015. The feature comes as standard on the latest version of Android, and Microsoft is also said to be working on a kill switch that will be included as standard on Windows Phones that will be launched later this year.

Source: Reuters

The clumsiest man in tech.

11 Comments
  • I had my iPad mini 2 w/wifi and iPhone 5s stolen at the same time, along with a keyboard case for the iPad and a mobile hotspot from a different provider in case my normal service didn't get reception. Find my iPhone was no help, as by the time I realized it my devices were powered down/long gone. Oh well. Rocking an iPhone 6, 4s and iPad mini 2 w/cellular now. Sent from the iMore App
  • "iPhone theft down by 40% in San Francisco, 25% in New York thanks to Activation Lock" Yay!
  • This is such a nice feature, but I live in Brazil and have heard lately that some thieves are forcing people to say their iCloud passwords in order to unlock the device. So, unless you are fast enough, the thief can probably wipe your device and then use it for whatever they want.
  • Its a step in the right direction, but it can still be improved. As Rodrigo said, if you get robbed at gun point anywhere in the world, chances are you'll be asked to unlock it and supply your iCloud password.
    When this happens, the best case cenario is the robber wiping your phone and reselling it. The worst is him just disabling "Find My Phone" and taking over your Apple account, along with all your apps, movies, books, songs etc. Apple could implement a 24h delay on some key functions to allow the user to at least regain control of his account, even if the phone is lost and the password is breached.
  • BTW, in this cenario, the WORST thing you could have do was to activate two-step security using the same phone. You'll probably be much better off with the security questions. In fact, it should be a common practice to only use two-step security using a cheap phone that remains safely stored at home.
  • I never met a person who lost or had their phone stolen and reported it... just a waste of time...Unless you're murdered for it..no cop or detective will hunt down your phone..
  • Correct. I was robbed. I found the iPhone through find my iPhone in a house told the cops and nothing happened. At least I was able to wipe the device. Sent from the iMore App
  • Sometime last year, a friend of mine was at a Barnes and Noble here in NYC and accidentally left her iPhone 4S in the restroom. When she went back, it was gone. She never got it back and Find My iPhone was no help. :-/ She ended up getting a 5S as a replacement.
  • I had my iPhone 6 Plus stolen in Nov 2014, had the phone for about 3 months, Find My iPhone wasn't helpful at all. Seems like thieves, the first they would do is turn off the phone. =(
  • The Find My Phone feature is only useful if you truly lost your phone and it was not yet found by a crook. The main benefit of this lock feature is not as a way of getting your phone back but rather to protect all of your data by wiping your phone clean and to prevent it from being used by others. Sadly most people who try and take your phone and find that it is locked will just power it down and throw it away since they cannot use it but then you are left with making another trip the the Apple Store. It is definitely not full proof like mentioned before if you are actually robbed and forced to provide your information. I love Carioca32 suggestion of having a 24 hour delay built in so that if this does happen you cannot be locked out of your own phone/Apple account.
  • My Friends! www.iphonetrace.com - these guys work on helping people retrieving their lost/stolen iphones by
    tracking these devices through IMEI.