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iPhone thefts drop drastically thanks to built-in “kill switch”

by Jacob Kleinman | February 15, 2015February 15, 2015 8:00 am PST

Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus-7

It’s been over a year since Apple introduced a “kill switch” with iOS 7, and a new report claims iPhone thefts have quickly plummeted thanks to the added security. According to Reuters, the number of stolen iPhones dropped by as much as 50 percent thanks to a feature letting the device’s owner disable it remotely.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said Wednesday that iPhone thefts were down by half in the British capital. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the number of stolen Apple smartphones dropped by 40 percent in San Francisco and 25 percent in New York since the kill switch was introduced a year ago.

The news marks a sharp turn around from just a few years earlier, when smartphone thefts were becoming increasingly common. “We have made real progress in tackling the smartphone theft epidemic that was affecting many major cities just two years ago,” said Mayor Johnson.

Google and Samsung also offer their own kill switches, while Microsoft is still behind on a promise to add the feature to its own mobile operating system. Hopefully Windows won’t keep lagging behind for too much longer.


Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...