Without further notice, Apples recently removed pulled down its iCloud Activation Lock website, the fastest way to check if an iPhone is stolen or not. At first glance, the move strikes a blow to those third-party retailers selling second hand iPhones, but also to those who want to buy used iPhones from other persons.
Apple also updated its support documentation to take into consideration the removal of the website, and now advises customers who want to purchase used iPhones to turn the device on and slide to unlock. If the passcode lock screen or the Homescreen appears, the device hasn’t been erased.
Obviously, this procedure can only be applied when two people meet in person, not when you’re buying an iPhone online. Apple now says that it’s up to you to ensure that the device is erased and no longer lined to the previous owner’s account, if you decide to buy an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple Watch from someone other than Apple or an authorized reseller.
For those who don’t know, in order to erase an iPhone, you must head to Settings / General / Reset / Erase All Content and Settings. After the device setup process beings and the you’re asked for the previous owner’s Apple ID and password, it means the phone is still linked to their account.
The removal of the iCloud Activation Lock website certainly makes things a bit harder for iPhone fans, but what are Apple’s gains on this is still a mystery.