A memo leaked this week that disclosed new instructions for technicians at Apple stores. These technicians have received the instruction to not perform any repairs on Apple devices, mainly iPhones for now, that are reported as missing from the original owner. With this update, the tech giant is hoping this will lower the number of iPhones stolen which are brought for repairs. Apple introduced this new policy to put people trying to repair stolen devices at a disadvantage.
Apple spells out a simple way for technicians at their stores to check if an iPhone is reported missing or stolen. The global database, the GSMA Device registry is responsible for keeping this in track, in case a particular phone is lost or possibly stolen.
The internal memo, that was leaked, reveals how this update will essentially aid them. After the technicians receive an iPhone, they will receive a message sent in their GSX system or in their internal Mobile Genius. The system which directs accurately as to whether the device has been reported to be lost or stolen.
Other steps taken to counter service to missing devices:
Along with this new policy introduced, Apple Stores and Authorised Service Providers already have another policy regarding repairs. These stores can refuse to service any Apple device if the customer fails to disable its ‘Find My iPhone’ feature. Similarly, this safety protocol is mainly designed to deny fixes for any of incoming devices that are possibly lost or stolen in the scenario.
Among other policies, customers coming to get their devices repaired must also prove that they are the real owners of the phone. In whichever way, they must prove that they are ones who purchased the iPhone or any other concerned devices prior to a technician taking a look at it to determine its issue. Apple, for long, has made sure to keep enough protocols in check to make sure stolen devices do not receive repair service.
The tech giant is yet to confirm the news of the policy change. However, tech enthusiasts on Reddit, welcomed the update with open arms. One of them, pointed on the platform how this update addressed a loophole that existed all this while.
“To the average technician a blocked IMEI device just looks like a No Service/Searching/No SIM issue and would be treated as such, ie a whole unit replacement. Very rarely would there be a flag in our system that reported the device as stolen/missing,” they wrote.