iPhone Kill Switch Sees Thefts Fall 24 Per Cent in London

By Gerald Lynch on at

It's easy to forget sometimes that you're walking around with roughly five hundred quid's worth of gadgetry in your pocket as an iPhone owner. But it's something at the front of every opportunist thief's mind. It seems however that, since the introduction of the iOS 7 anti-theft “kill switch”, iPhones aren't as high on pickpocket and muggers' wishlists any more.

The introduction of Apple's Activation Lock feature (which requires the original iPhone owner's Apple ID and password to be inputted to unlock the phone – even after a remote wipe), has seen iPhone thefts in the UK capital drop 24 per cent, according to the New York Times. And it's a trend that seems to be being mirrored in the States too – thefts fell a whopping 38 per cent in San Francisco, with robberies and grand larcenies down 19 and 29 per cent respectively in New York. Call it coincidence if you like, but it's hard to argue with the correlation between the kill switch's debut and the drop in related crime rates.

An anti-theft measure in all phones sold in the United States will become standard as of July of next year. With stats like this to back up their effectiveness, don't be surprised to see more countries following suit and enforcing a similar standard.  [NYT].