For reasons that are yet to be determined, Apple has just made it extensively more difficult to determine whether or not that second-hand iOS device you’ve got your eye on is legit. Specifically, the highly useful and popular online Activation Lock tool appears to have been wiped from the face of the earth, with absolutely no announcement or information from Apple.
The feature allows those in possession of iOS devices to find out whether they are locked to another person’s Apple ID – subsequently determining if the iPad or iPhone in question have been taken and used without the owner’s consent.
As all that is required to obtain such information is the serial number on the iOS device in question, this has enabled those looking to purchase second-hand devices to first vet the status of the device, before choosing whether or not to purchase it. This has proved to be extremely popular for both buyers and sellers alike, when selling iOS device via eBay, Amazon and other online marketplaces.
Still, with no prior warning or any information as to whether the feature will be brought back, it has been entirely withdrawn by apple.
Where visitors were once greeted with a message that stated: “When you buy an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple Watch from someone other than Apple or an authorized Apple reseller, it is up to you to ensure that the device is erased and no longer linked to the previous owner’s account, you can check the current Activation Lock status of a device when you visit icloud.com/activationlock from any Mac or PC,” there is now only a 404 error and a missing page.
Attempts to contact Apple with questions regarding the decision to remove the feature and its future have so far proved unsuccessful and no statement has yet been issued by the company.