Apple has warned rioters who have taken to stealing iPhones or other Apple wares in the guise of protesting the death of George Floyd that their efforts might prove futile in the end. That is for the simple reason that such iPhone devices seem to have some kind of proximity software installed in them and are likely to be programmed to function as long as they are within the Apple Store premises.
When taken outside, such iPhones have ceased to function and are instead displaying a warning message when booted up. As has been revealed in a tweet message that reads – ‘This device has been disabled and is being tracked. Local authorities will be alerted.’ That makes the phone nothing more than a dead device that won’t serve any function in its present state.
In such a scenario, while it remains to be seen how many such lost iPhone devices are actually returned, the chances are that the majority of such devices might be disintegrated to harvest its internal parts. It is also not known how many such iPhone or other items got stolen from Apple Stores in the near week long riots that have erupted post the death of George Floyd allegedly due to police brutality.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a memo issued to his employees that the need of the hours is ‘To stand together, we must stand up for one another, and recognize the fear, hurt, and outrage rightly provoked by the senseless killing of George Floyd and a much longer history of racism.’ Cook also stressed how Apple has always stood for equality while being open to people from all walks of life in all of their centres around the world.
The company further stated they are shutting down most of their stores around the US for fear of the security of their staff and property. Unfortunately, it has just been days that the stores were opened amid the Covid 19 pandemic, and it could again be days before the situation becomes conducive enough for the stores to open again. Some might take longer, depending on the scale of destruction suffered.
Meanwhile, Apple has yet to reveal the scale of damage suffered and whether other devices such as Mac laptops too were looted; and if yes, are they being tracked as well.