Police say iOS 7 Activation Lock is significantly reducing thefts of Apple products

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 34
    I still remember people saying this would do nothing because most iPhones are sold for parts. Now where are they hiding?

    Trolls lie dormant until another opportunity for spreading FUD arises. :)
  • Reply 22 of 34
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member

    Originally Posted by mpantone View Post

     

    The study is about smartphone thefts. Tablets were not included.

     

    I would venture to guess that iPad thefts are slightly down. There are fewer tablets overall though. One in five people on this planet has a smartphone. About one in seventeen has a tablet.

     

    Smartphones are easier to pilfer because they are used more in public and carried in conspicuous locations (hands, pockets, etc.). In transit, most tablets are carried in a purse, backpack, etc. and are thus harder for a thief to steal.


     

    Sigh.  Maybe I should have worded my response this way:

     

    "OK, thanks for the fascinating data on reduced iPhone thefts due to Activation Lock in iOS 7.

    Now, how about doing a study on the potential for reduced iPad thefts due to Activation Lock in iOS 7.

    If that data point is even relevant.  No, iPads are not taken out of the house as frequently than iPhones.

    But yes, they are still high-value mobile devices, and therefore would be targets of theft as are iPhones.

    If anything, iPads are probably stolen more frequently from homes than from individuals out in public.

    I think it would be interesting to see if iOS 7 Activation Lock has, in fact, reduced the frequency of iPad theft."

     

    Maybe that cleared up the semantics of my original question.  Just slightly.

  • Reply 23 of 34
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

     

     

    I would say that it does and does not have to do with both. SOME thefts might have been stanched by such measures as 'professional' thieves have found that they can't ebay etc the phone due to these tactics and public awareness that they exist. 

     

    But at the same time, I think they have little to do with it as well. With these measures in place there has also been a rise in media talking about the theft risk and folks could just be more careful about pulling out their phones willy nilly and giving opportunistic thieves the opportunity. Not to mention that the glow is starting to diminish and folks don't need to be messing with their phones every second and are emotionally okay with putting it in a pocket, so again its not out there to be stolen.

     

    So while there is correlation between the existence/creation of these measures and the drop in such crimes until we have actual interviews with former thieves telling us that the measures are the reason they stopped, we can't 100% guarantee casualty 


    I'm also inclined to think the public awareness portion is quite significant. Otherwise why wouldn't statistically minded thieves just steal MORE iPhones to make up for the portion rendered useless? Anyone have a number on what portion of iPhones have opted-in to the feature? If it were, say, 25% (in the UK there's 25% using passwords on their smartphones), then you steal 13 phones for every 10 in your quota and you're golden....

  • Reply 24 of 34
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,405member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jfc1138 View Post

     

    I'm also inclined to think the public awareness portion is quite significant. Otherwise why wouldn't statistically minded thieves just steal MORE iPhones to make up for the portion rendered useless? Anyone have a number on what portion of iPhones have opted-in to the feature? If it were, say, 25% (in the UK there's 25% using passwords on their smartphones), then you steal 13 phones for every 10 in your quota and you're golden....


     

    In this December 2013 survey, shortly after release of iOS7, 78% of respondents had enabled Activation Lock on their iPhones.

    http://news.techworld.com/security/3494256/most-iphone-users-have-activation-lock-enabled-survey-finds/

     

    Also, before Touch ID, introduced with the 5S, fewer than half of iPhone owners used a passcode on their phones. Now, 83% do.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/04/touch-id-ios-8_n_5440594.html

    Still have doubts that Apple's focus on security has a real world impact?

  • Reply 25 of 34
    There's no statistical evidence that activation lock is responsible for the decline, although I'm not saying it isn't.
  • Reply 26 of 34
    misamisa Posts: 827member
    Hilarious to see some of the stupid comments on other forums. Some claiming it has nothing to do with iOS 7 and everything to do with carriers now blocking IMEI numbers. Others say it's smartphone thefts that are down while completely ignoring the fact that devices were broken down by type (which is how they were able to show a reduction in iPhone thefts while also showing an increase in Samsung thefts).

    I still remember people saying this would do nothing because most iPhones are sold for parts. Now where are they hiding?

    IMEI blocks are carrier-based, and would require reporting the device lost/stolen to the carrier AND that they put the IMEI in a international database of lost/stolen devices, otherwise it's completely useless.
    Apple's solution is one of the benefits of a walled-garden approach, No Apple account, no iPhone/iPad/iPod/iMac usage. Keep in mind that two things are still true:
    a) Someone could take the device apart, and sell it for parts on eBay, which there is a market for replacement screens/batteries, the people who buy/sell these are usually third-party stores (the same ones that unlock devices.)
    b) Someone could install jailbroken firmware on the device, bypass the check, and render it usable, albeit jailbroken iOS devices are effectively garbage anyway.

    Now apply this logic to Samsung/Android
    a) Selling it for parts is probably not going to happen except for a few high end Samsung devices. As most of the Samsung devices have more variations than Apple does, their value as parts diminishes greatly (basically being screen and battery like Apple's devices.) The average Android device has no value if stolen anyway. This can be pinned directly on how disposable Android devices are being made with no firmware updates, and weak parts.
    b) Unlike Apple, there is a thriving market for jailbroken/modified firmware for Android devices, so all it would take getting the firmware for the device or the jailbroken firmware, and bypassing the check.

    So someone wanting to steal phones for money would be better off stealing the Samsung devices, but they aren't worth nearly as much to begin with.

    Microsoft on the other hand is a bit of a question as we don't know if there is any attempts to jailbreak the device or if it's even valuable to resell.
  • Reply 27 of 34
    Some people just HATE the idea of giving Apple any credit. ANY. And they invent elaborate alternate theories to protect themselves from evidence that contradicts their prejudice.
  • Reply 28 of 34
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,979member
    Some people just HATE the idea of giving Apple any credit. ANY. And they invent elaborate alternate theories to protect themselves from evidence that contradicts their prejudice.

    While that is most certainly true it is also erroneous to give Apple ALL the credit since it's obvious that there are other factors involved.
  • Reply 29 of 34
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    Fragmentation will raise it's ugly android face
    Activation lock helps 90+ iOS 7 NOW
    android NOT
    NOT EVEN CLOSE
    Some android company should name their new phone
    Re-galaxy s-RE5
    ????????????????
  • Reply 30 of 34
    russellrussell Posts: 296member

    Both Apple and Samsung require the user to go through virtually identical steps, albeit in slightly different order, before they can enable the lock.

     

    On iOS7 the user goes to Settings>>iCloud>>Sign In or Get Free Apple ID and then turn on Find My iPhone. It even asks the user "Allow iCloud to Use the Location of Your iPhone? This enables Find My iPhone features, including the ability to show the location of this iPhone on a map."



    According to Dilger’s screenshots, Samsung users have to go to Settings>>Security>>Enable Reactivation lock, tap ok, then Sign in or Create account.

     

    "Apple makes setting up the service as easy option that's integrated into the user's iCloud account setup. Samsung buries the feature as a setting users must find and configure on their own."

     

    How did Samsung bury the feature? They used menu names that describes the feature far better than what Apple used.

  • Reply 31 of 34
    Hilarious to see some of the stupid comments on other forums. Some claiming it has nothing to do with iOS 7 and everything to do with carriers now blocking IMEI numbers. Others say it's smartphone thefts that are down while completely ignoring the fact that devices were broken down by type (which is how they were able to show a reduction in iPhone thefts while also showing an increase in Samsung thefts).

    I still remember people saying this would do nothing because most iPhones are sold for parts. Now where are they hiding?

    Under their bridges. Where else?
  • Reply 32 of 34
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,979member
    Under their bridges. Where else?

    Busy collecting tolls. :lol:
  • Reply 33 of 34
    tenlytenly Posts: 707member
    charlituna wrote: »
    I would say that it does and does not have to do with both. SOME thefts might have been stanched by such measures as 'professional' thieves have found that they can't ebay etc the phone due to these tactics and public awareness that they exist. 

    But at the same time, I think they have little to do with it as well. With these measures in place there has also been a rise in media talking about the theft risk and folks could just be more careful about pulling out their phones willy nilly and giving opportunistic thieves the opportunity. Not to mention that the glow is starting to diminish and folks don't need to be messing with their phones every second and are emotionally okay with putting it in a pocket, so again its not out there to be stolen.

    So while there is correlation between the existence/creation of these measures and the drop in such crimes until we have actual interviews with former thieves telling us that the measures are the reason they stopped, we can't 100% guarantee casualty 

    I would say that this is and this isn't the dumbest analysis I've ever read.

    Media coverage about theft risk educating users to not pull out their phones "willy nilly"? That's a ridiculous claim. If that were even a little bit true, the non iOS phone thefts would have also dropped - certainly not increased!

    The drop may not be 100% due to "activation lock". in fact, many would-be thieves are probably also concerned with the media coverage of the "Find my iPhone" feature leading to device recovery and arrests. This feature alone probably scares off many thieves as the risk of being located by the cops or the rightful owner are not worth the reward of selling the device for parts.

    With the evidence reported in this article, I don't think we need interview's with "former thieves" to confirm that Apple's security innovations are having a positive effect in curbing thefts. I'm curious though - why "former" thieves? Wouldn't it be just as good to talk to "current" thieves? Or are you getting paid by the word? Your multi-paragraph post could have been nicely abbreviated to a single line saying "I have nothing useful to add."

    I think that the decline in thefts will be even more pronounced in the next reporting period as this first period was likely a learning experience for many thieves who continued to steal the devices for a while before they discovered that it was nearly impossible and much less lucrative to unload these devices AFTER the introduction of activation lock.
  • Reply 34 of 34
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by freediverx View Post

     

     

    In this December 2013 survey, shortly after release of iOS7, 78% of respondents had enabled Activation Lock on their iPhones.

    http://news.techworld.com/security/3494256/most-iphone-users-have-activation-lock-enabled-survey-finds/

     

    Also, before Touch ID, introduced with the 5S, fewer than half of iPhone owners used a passcode on their phones. Now, 83% do.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/04/touch-id-ios-8_n_5440594.html

    Still have doubts that Apple's focus on security has a real world impact?


    That just supported my contention "public awareness" had a role, given it's an "opt-in" system. I'd suggest people that become more security conscious will change their behavior along with their passcode. Being that bit more aware of their surroundings would reduce crimes of opportunity to a degree. I don't know about other cities but New York has slathered the place with poster warnings about being more security conscious regarding cellphones. So I'd expect there's multiple components to the decline in thefts.

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