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Buying A New iOS Device? Check This Out First.

  • By Integr8

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As many of you might be aware already, Apple has taken steps to help protect it’s customers from becoming victims of hardware theft.  With iOS 7, they introduced a feature called Activation Lock.  When you sign in to iCloud on your Apple mobile devices, not only do you have access to Find My iPhone but in the event that it is stolen, the device will be useless without having the proper username and password for the iCloud account associated with it.  Apple’s goal with implementing this feature was to deter criminals from stealing Apple technology.  While in a perfect world, this would mean that no one would ever steal your iPhone again; however, the fact is, there are some people out there who don’t seem to care. Apple is aware of this reality and has yet again given us a tool to help protect us.

I’ve recently seen an ad on Craigslist where someone had purchased and was trying to find the owner of a stolen iPhone.  The buyer didn’t know it was locked until trying to set the device up.  You see, if the phone is restored through the settings or iTunes without turning Find My iPhone off, it is Activation Locked.  This isn’t apparent until you are going through the setup process so if you were to simply turn the phone on, it would look as though everything was working appropriately.

Due to situations like this, Apple has recently made available a website where you can check to see if a phone is Activation Locked prior to the purchase.  You can go to where you’ll be promoted to type in the phone’s IMEI or the serial number to check the Activation Lock status of the phone.

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While this tool can and will help numerous people looking to buy a used iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch from a private party, there is one thing to keep in mind, and that is that the serial number or IMEI  that was given to you might not actually belong to the device you’re purchasing.  It is important to check that upon receiving the device.  Luckily with Amazon and Ebay, you are somewhat protected if you’re sold an item that is faulty or stolen.  If you’re buying from a classified ad in a paper or off of Craigslist, it’s very important to verify for yourself that what you’re purchasing matches the information you were given, and I’d even recommend to go as far as to complete the setup process prior to handing your hard earned cash over.

I have two more pieces of advice for those reading this.  First, if you are purchasing a device from a private seller through a classified ad, please be sure to use common sense and play it safe.  I recommend you meet in public, let someone know where and when you’ll be meeting the other party or better yet, take someone with you.  Second, if you are interested in selling your Apple device, it is very important that you ensure you have backed up your information either via iCloud and/or iTunes, turn off Find My iPhone so that the phone isn’t locked when the buyer gets it, and it’s very important that you restore the device through iTunes or reset all settings and data through the settings on the device.  The last step is very important.  If you forget to wipe the device, the new owner will have your information they receive the product you are selling.

I hope this was informative for all of you and if you need further assistance, don’t hesitate to contact me to set up a time we can meet to help answer whatever questions you may have.



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