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What iPhone Thieves Will See After the iOS 7 Release

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Apple announced a new iOS 7 feature design to stop iPhone theft by locking the iPhone and iPad to a user account. This isn’t the kill switch that police and legislators called for, but it is a good start to discouraging iPhone theft.

iOS 7 will now ask if a computer should be trusted when plugged in for the first time and if a user attempts to restore the iPhone while Find My iPhone is on it will fail.

With these iOS 7 restrictions in place thieves will no longer be able to steal an iPhone, wipe it clean and resell it. As long as no one finds a work around, this could significantly reduce the demand for a stolen iPhone.

If there is no way to wipe it clean, it will prove difficult to sell the used iPhone, at least to some one who wants to use it again. In theory the iPhone could still be broken down for parts, but iPhone thefts reportedly often end up resold in specific neighborhoods or shipped overseas.

Watch: iOS 7 Beta: Video Tour of New iOS 7 Features

When plugging an iPhone running the iOS 7 beta into a new Mac, the iPhone popped up the message below, asking if it can trust this computer. If the iPhone is locked it will require a user to unlock it before this happens. Even if users don’t lock their iPhone, they will be able to use Find My iPhone to lock it after it is lost or stolen.

IOS 7 Security - prevent iPhone theft

Even if the thief is able to connect a stolen iPhone to a computer before it is locked and click Trust, iTunes will not restore the iPhone if Find My iPhone is turned on. This should make it impossible to restore the stolen iPhone to stock and sell it to someone else.

iPhone Security iOS 7

If we can’t stop iPhone theft with officer deterrents and educating users about the dangers of walking down the street holding a gadget worth $600 in their hand, hitting the secondary market could be the best way to limit iPhone theft.

Apple announced many iOS 7 features at the WWDC 2013 Keynote this week, including a complete overhaul to the look of the iPhone user experience and 50 iOS 7 features you’ll actually use. The iOS 7 release date is set for fall, when it will arrive on the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 as well as recent iPad models. Users can get the iOS 7 beta today, if they are ok with some possible hiccups.

Josh Smith is Editor of GottaBeMobile and Notebooks.com. He's always looking for ways to help you get the most of your gear and loves to talk about tech on radio and TV. Josh uses an iOS and Android devices as well as Mac and Windows Computers. Josh Smith on Google+ Email: [email protected]

6 Comments

  1. FARHAD

    06/11/2013 at 5:29 pm

    What a worthless security measure.
    It tells you that it is unable to restore iPhone and then
    gives you the method to resolve this by showing you how to turn
    ‘Find My iPhone’ off.

    Why doesn’t Apple with all their geniuses come up with a feature whereby
    one cannot switch off the iPhone when it has ‘Passcode Lock’ turned On,
    therefore preventing any person from switching the phone off if it is
    lost,stolen or misplaced.

    Most of us keep our mobile data running on the phone, so this would
    help to locate the phone.
    This would give people, depending on your battery percentage, a better
    chance to locate and find the phone.
    Secondly, if the battery were to drain causing the phone to switch off,
    it would still have mobile data active even if the sim is changed because
    Passcode Lock would still be switched on.
    This would give you another chance to locate your iPhone provided that
    the sim has sufficient funds.

    Another idea is that you introduce an option that as soon as WiFi is not
    within range or is lost, a message should pop-up asking you if you would like to switch over to mobile data instead of automatically switching over.
    This would help by not using your mobile data and/or airtime, especially
    if one was downloading, updating, streaming, etc.
    Hence, one could leave both Wifi and Mobile Data switched on simultaneously without having any nasty surprises.

  2. Volker

    07/02/2013 at 2:12 am

    A thief will not know the device code, so he can not deactivate FindMyPhone and the feature does make sense. But a legitimate user is made aware of a potential computer behind a charger that may want to install malware on the phone: http://www.blackhat.com/us-13/briefings.html#Lau. So the main reason for introducing this security feature may be to avert “malicious charger” attacks.

  3. Tyler

    08/06/2013 at 2:39 pm

    This is terribly buggy right now. I can’t sync my own iPod to my computer because whenever I say “Trust” it goes away and doesn’t trust my computer. So at the moment, this is very bad. But it is apple, I’m sure they’ll figure it out for iOS 7′s final release.

  4. mindsurfer

    08/19/2013 at 3:36 pm

    and how does it prevent from putting the phone into flash mode(recovery mode) and just restore to stock via itunes?

  5. Shauna

    09/20/2013 at 8:08 am

    How do you get it to always trust one computer? Every time I plugged my phone into the computer it asks me if it trust it, I say trust & then the next time it asks again. Shouldn’t it store the info when it’s the same computer?

  6. A really pissed off customer

    09/20/2013 at 10:02 am

    The only thing we can do with this @#$%^&* brick is to stick it up our @#$%^&*. That’s everything we can do right now. Apple decided to act as a cheap company and take its customers as unpaid testers. I AM NEVER GONNA PAY A PENNY FOR SUCH CRAP! Unfortunaltely, I own an iPad and MBA, I am really really @#$%^&* off…

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