Apple has unveiled a new tool for users to help determine whether an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is configured to use Activation Lock. The page works much like the tools used by carriers such as AT&T to determine whether a potential trade-in device was protected with the feature. You enter the IMEI or serial number of the device, fill in a CAPTCHA, and press “Continue” to get your results (via iDownloadblog).
If the device is protected, you’ll find instructions for disabling the security measure before selling it. You’ll also find help for removing a used device from another user’s account, in the event that you were sold a phone and the original owner had not disabled it (of course, all of those options involve contacting the previous owner and having them do it, for security purposes).
The new page seems to be part of the Find My iPhone web app, but there doesn’t yet appear to be any way to get to it from there without typing in the address, which may prevent some users from actually taking advantage of it.
Activation Lock was introduced alongside iOS 7 and worked so well to prevent theft that governments are now mandating a similar system be included on all new phones. It’s enabled by default starting with iOS 8.
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