activation lock

Apple Announces Activation Lock Tool; iPhone Thieves Everywhere Cringe

It is long overdue but Apple has released a new tool to help users check whether an iPhone has been reported stolen. This interface for checking Activation Lock status is the latest feature to build off of Find My iPhone security, which previously helped users remotely lock their phones in case it was lost or stolen.

Resale of stolen phones takes the biggest hit with this new tool. If you use Apple’s online tool, it will be instantly evident the phone is on Activation Lock once the IMEI or serial number is entered here.

Those that lost money buying a used phone only to find out later it was stolen will tell you of the lifesaver this could have been. Find My iPhone addressed the location of missing phones but really didn’t protect buyers of used devices. Hackers figured out how to make an iPhone seem like it was legit and ready to use, until you tried to actually do something like make a call or update your Facebook status.

Apple has come out one step ahead of would-be iPhone thieves by providing this tool to help perspective buyers definitively know whether Activation Lock is on.

It’s important to note that it only works with phones that are running iOS 7 or above and does nothing to assure you that the iPhone hasn’t been blacklisted. To make sure that a phone hasn’t been blacklisted from use on Canadian carriers, you’ll need to run the IMEI number here.

The team at Orchard is dedicated to creating an easy and trustable way to buy or sell used iPhones. As aftermarket advocates, we’re excited to see Apple’s commitment to ending iPhone theft. Continuous improvements in the used electronics purchase process make it easier for the value-seeking consumers. Stay tuned for more innovations that will help guarantee quality, value, and security.

Addendum (April 11, 2017):

Since the posting of this article, Apple has rescinded the Activation Lock Tool. It is still not clear exactly why this was done, though some sources such as MacRumours have suggested that the tool was being used by some hackers to bypass the Activation Lock.

Luckily, there are other ways to verify whether or not a phone has Activation Lock turned on. One site that still provides this service is iUnlocker. Run the IMEI of the phone you’re looking to buy here, and look under ‘Find My iPhone’. If it reads OFF it should be good to go.

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  • Samuel Lai 4 October, 2014   Reply →

    How is it a lifesaver if one has already bought a stolen iPhone? Did you mean it would have been a lifesaver to such consumers had the tool been available before they bought a stolen iPhone?

    • Orchard 6 October, 2014   Reply →

      Hi Samuel!

      You’re right, it is a bit ambiguous! The sentence in question is referring to someone who has experienced accidentally purchasing a stolen iPhone, asserting that they would tell you a tool like this would have been a lifesaver. The assumption is that “you” (the audience) is someone who hasn’t experienced this. We’ve adjusted the tense at the end of the sentence in order to make this a bit more clear.

      Thanks for your input!

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