The introduction of Activation Lock was credited by the FCC in December as the main factor behind the reduction in iPhone-related theft, and new data suggests that the trend has continued since. The latest numbers reveal a decline of 40 percent in the number of iPhones stolen in San Francisco and 25 percent in New York between September 2013 and September 2014.
The number of iPhones stolen in London was reduced by half during the same time period, with mayor Boris Johnson stating:
We have made real progress in tackling the smartphone theft epidemic that was affecting many major cities just two years ago.
Activation Lock made its debut with iOS 7, with the feature allowing users to remotely lock an iPhone with their iCloud credentials, requiring authentication with Apple before the device can be accessed again.
California passed a law in August 2014 that requires all smartphones sold in the state to include a kill switch by July 2015. The feature comes as standard on the latest version of Android, and Microsoft is also said to be working on a kill switch that will be included as standard on Windows Phones that will be launched later this year.