Apple ‘Picking’ was a popular term a few years ago, referring to an alarmingly high rate of iPhone thefts. Since then, several measures had been taken to contain the theft and resale of stolen iPhones and iPads. One such measure was imparting knowledge to buyers about potential purchases, including the “Check Activation Lock Status,” which has disappeared all of a sudden.
Apple removes all references
The webpage titled “Check Activation Lock Status” made it possible for users to check if their device was still linked to an Apple account. The tool is not available anymore, as the company mysteriously pulled it and all of its references down over the weekend without an explanation, notes SlashGear.
Now, when someone tries to access the iCloud page (where the tool was available previously), a “Not Found” page (also known as a 404 error) shows up. A few days ago, the company removed the reference to the tool from a related “Find My iPhone” support document,’ notes MacRumors
This document titled “How do I check for Activation Lock before purchasing a used device?” said “When you buy an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple Watch from someone other than Apple or an authorized Apple reseller, it is up to you to ensure that the device is erased and no longer linked to the previous owner’s account.”
“You can check the current Activation Lock status of a device when you visit icloud.com/activationlock from any Mac or PC.”
Previously a useful tool for Apple users
The web-based tool had a very simple purpose and use. Whenever a user entered the serial number or IMEI of an iPad, iPod or iPhone, they can see the current status of their device with regards to its activation and link with an existing Apple ID. The implication here was that such a device had higher chances of being lost or stolen.
This tool allowed users to defend themselves from fraudulent, unauthorized device resellers. It also discouraged the black market for stolen or lost Apple devices, notes SlashGear. If the seller refused to provide the information, it would mean that the device is probably stolen.
Last year, several new iPhone buyers complained that they faced an Activation Lock issue when they found their device linked to someone else’s Apple ID. As a remedy, the iPhone maker disabled Activation Lock for the affected users when they provided a proof of purchase. But whether the company decided to remove the page for this reason is still not known.