Apple Watch, which was surprisingly released sans the typical euphoria associated with the Cupertino-based company’s products, is notoriously easy to steal and pawn-off, revealed security experts who reviewed the watch.
At $17,000, the high-end Apple Watch Edition is covered in an 18-karat gold case. Though it has the most expensive of elements, it turns out those who can steal it can sell it off without worrying about the original user tracking it down. The high consumer demand, together with the euphoria associated with owning an Apple product, and the lowest of anti-theft features is sure to make Apple Watch an even more attractive target to thieves than iPhones, say experts.
Numerous reports indicate the surprising lack of any sort of remote wipe or locking ability in all the editions of Apple Watch. What’s even more bizarre is the fact that a stolen Apple Watch can easily be wiped and paired with a new phone without even knowing the original passcode that was supposed to keep the Apple Watch away from prying eyes.
In the real world, it means the Apple Watch is ridiculously easy to steal from vulnerable Apple fan-boys and effortlessly list and re-sell the units on the black market. The sellers wouldn’t have to fear about the devices being locked and rendered useless by their rightful owners, when they realize their beloved Apple Watch has been pinched.
Interestingly, it is no longer that easy to steal the iPhones, a smartphone made by the very same company. Since early 2013, all iOS devices have a mandatory feature called Activation Lock that allows their rightful owners to pinpoint their locations, lock them remotely, and optionally wipe their contents to protect privacy.
Why Apple chose to omit these critical features in the Apple Watch is beyond anyone’s guess. The omissions are quite glaring, especially because the lack of these features has caused the company severe headaches in the recent past. Activation Lock was added only in iOS 7 and that was after Michael Bloomberg, who was then the mayor of New York City, directly blamed the iPhone theft boom for an increase in the city’s overall crime rate. The city’s crime rate in every other segment was declining, but being a supposedly elite product made iPhone an easy target on busy metros and other public transportation.
The Apple Watch is indeed a hot ticket item, with every iteration selling out in mere minutes. But a lack of bare essential security features means almost all of them are at a high risk of being stolen and resold, provided they don’t give rashes to their new buyers.
[Image Credit | Cnet]