The iPhone's Kill Switch May Actually Be Reducing Theft

Good news, honest law-abiding citizens: Police in NYC, San Francisco, and London all report that after years of rising smartphone thefts, the trend is finally starting to reverse. For the first time, reported iPhone thefts are dropping. See? Those security features do work.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and his San Francisco colleague George Gascón both cite Apple's addition of Activation Lock to the iPhone last September as a major factor in the slowdown in phone thefts. Cities have measured a drop in reported iPhone thefts since the feature was released: San Francisco reports a 38 percent drop, London saw a 24 percent decrease.

Remote locking and wiping means thieves aren't as attracted to smartphones, New York Attorney General Schneiderman told NYTimes' Bits Blog. "If these can be canceled like the equivalent of canceling a credit card, these are going to be the equivalent of stealing a paperweight."

So between fingerprint locking and remote wiping, the new iPhone security features seem to be working. It's either that, or thieves have suddenly decided to target the Moto X instead. [Bits Blog]

Image: Shutterstock / NOBUHIRO ASADA