In context: The GSMA Device Registry keeps a global record of stolen or missing devices, using their IMEI number as a flag to prevent/block network access and help law enforcement and affected victims fight against thievery. Now, Apple has instructed its store technicians and authorized repair workshops to deny repair to iPhones reported as missing.
Apple already has a robust tracking system in place with the Find My service that pretty much renders an Apple device (iPhone/iPad/Mac/Watch) useless if it’s marked as lost. However, there is always the possibility that an owner who lost their device to a thief (or otherwise) didn’t have Find My activated.
Such victims can report their device as stolen or missing, a record of which is kept in the GSMA Device Registry. According to an internal memo obtained by MacRumors, Apple has now introduced a new policy that instructs technicians at Apple Stores and authorized service providers to decline repairs for an iPhone(s) that end up in GSMA’s database.
Apple’s MobileGenius software used at its retail stores and the GSX tool used by repair partners will notify technicians when they come across a stolen iPhone. The new policy could potentially reduce the number of stolen iPhones brought in for repair and builds upon Apple’s existing iPhone repair rules.
Currently, Apple technicians are not allowed to service an iPhone if it has Activation Lock enabled – proof of ownership is required to disable – or if it is marked as Lost under the Find My feature.
What’s still unclear is whether Apple’s memo directs technicians to get in touch with local law enforcement or notify/advise an unsuspecting customer (or a thief) in possession of a stolen iPhone.