Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) appears to have started manufacturer adoption of a smartphone kill switch that deters theft as both Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) are reportedly including such a feature in their operating systems in the future, a report from PCWorld reveals.
The move from both Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) comes after authorities revealed that there was a drop in iPhone thefts in New York and in San Francisco after the iPhone was updated to have a kill switch. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) spearheaded the adoption of such a feature for its mobile devices as the company released iOS 7 in September 2013.
According to PCWorld, New York saw a drop of 19% in iPhone theft during the first five months of 2014, nearly double the 10% drop in robberies the city experience during the period. In contrast, the report cited that Samsung devices were stolen more often, up 40%, during the same period.
For San Francisco, the drop was 38% after half a year since the kill switch feature was introduced with Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS 7. In London, the drop in iPhone thefts after the feature was introduced was recorded to be at 24%. The publication reported that stealing of Samsung devices increased in San Francisco and in London.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) said in a blog post by VP for U.S. Government Affairs Fred Humphries that:
“The new theft deterrent features will be offered as an update for all phones running Windows Phone 8.0 and newer, though availability is subject to mobile operator and phone manufacturer approval. Additional details on functionality and availability will be provided closer to the official release.”
In a review of its Secure Our Smartphone (S.O.S.) initiative, the New York State Attorney General said that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) will also be incorporating a mobile device kill switch to its software. The government body said:
“Google confirms it will incorporate a kill switch-type theft-deterrence solution in its next version of the Android operating system, the most popular mobile operating system worldwide.”
Shareholders in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) includes Mark N. Diker’s Diker Management which reported 91,898 shares in the iPhone-maker by the end of the first quarter of the year. Another shareholder is Charles Akre’s Akre Capital Management which had 91,029 shares in the company during the same period.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) shareholders includes Lee Munder’s Lee Munder Capital Group which reported by the end of March 638,240 shares in the software giant. Joshua Nash’s Ulysses Management also reported 601,000 shares in the company during the same period.
Clint Carlson’s Carlson Capital reported 36,555 shares in Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) by the end of the first quarter. Another shareholder in the internet giant is Beeneet Kothari’s Tekne Capital Management which had 35,546 shares in the company as of the end of March.