Use Apple’s new iCloud tool to check that used iPhone isn’t stolen before you buy it

As the makers of some of the most attractive (and high-end) smartphones around, Apple devices are  ripe for theft . With that in mind, ...

As the makers of some of the most attractive (and high-end) smartphones around, Apple devices are ripe for theft. With that in mind, the good folks at Cupertino have just added a new iCloud tool which lets users work out whether the used iPhone they’re about to lay down their hard-earned money for has been locked by its real owner.
All you need to do it is to visit this link and enter the device’s IMEI or serial number, at which point you’ll be informed of the device’s Activation Lock feature — thereby saving you from buying a device that’s already been locked.
Should the lock be on, a message will note that the device’s Apple ID and password is needed to use it. If it’s off, you’re safe to buy the phone in question.
In June this year, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman praised Apple for introducing its Activation Lock feature with iOS 7, describing it as the “world’s first attempt to implement a technological solution to the global smartphone theft epidemic.”
According to survey data released in December last year, around 78% of iPhones are now protected by Activation Lock, while iPhone-related robberies have fallen since the feature was introduced.

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.


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