Lack of Activation Lock makes Apple Watch easier theft target

A new report from iDownloadblog highlights how Apple’s latest wearable device lacks the important theft deterrent feature found on Apple’s other mobile devices. First introduced in iOS 7, Apple’s Activation Lock feature prevents an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch that is associated with an iCloud account from being erased and reactivated without the iCloud Apple ID and password of the original owner. As this feature has become common knowledge, would-be thieves appear to have deemed iOS devices not worth stealing, resulting in a measurable drop in iPhone theft rates.

In its current form, the Apple Watch does not include this feature, and as the report notes, it is currently “extremely easy” to wipe an Apple Watch to factory settings and pair it with a new device. Although the Apple Watch is arguably less prone to loss or theft as a wearable device, it seems like an odd omission to exclude this now-standard iOS feature — but it’s worth noting that Activation Lock is intrinsically tied to Apple’s Find My iPhone feature, which is similarly absent from the Apple Watch due to its lack of the independent cellular, Wi-Fi, and GPS hardware that would be required to support it.

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