San Francisco District Lawyer George Gascon said Samsung promised to quickly add a new feature to its smartphones allowing users to entirely disable their gadgets if they are stolen.
Samsung’s new feature
Samsung executives revealed their plans during a closed-door conference with Gascon and New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who called representatives from four major smartphone makers to New York, to announce to media their commitments in fighting a nationwide surge of crime targeting their stolen gadgets.
According to Gascon, Samsung said its new feature would be available by July 1, and would make its gadgets entirely inoperable, even if the robbers would make a way to prevent them from being deactivated, such as replacing SIM cards or hacking the phone’s software.
The San Francisco lawyer claimed Samsung’s plan a “major feature” that may ensure its gadgets “have absolutely no value in the marketplace once they’re stolen.”
Apple’s similar feature
That announcement is different to the prosecutor’s assessment of a similar feature announced earlier by Apple, whose iPhones are at the center of the national crime wave.
The company’s new “activation lock” needs a password to be entered before a stolen iPhone can be reactivated.
Apple’s executive said that feature is “a powerful theft deterrent.” However, Gascon said the plan of Apple is not the one needed to undermine the value of stolen gadgets.