Apple stops fixing iPhones reported as stolen | Cult of Mac

Apple stops fixing iPhones reported as stolen

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fixing of taptic engine on iPhone
Be careful who you buy that used iPhone from. If it’s hot, Apple won‘t ever fix it.
Photo: iFixit

An iPhone reported missing or stolen to an industry database can not be repaired at an Apple Store, according to a new company policy.

This means that people need to be careful who they buy from. If they get a deal on a device that turns out to be stolen, they might not able to get it fixed.

Apple Store won’t fix iPhone reported lost

When someone brings a broken iPhone into an Apple Store or authorized device provider, its IMEI will reportedly be checked against the GSMA Device Registry, a database that tracks whether handsets are lost or stolen.

“If an Apple technician sees a message in their internal MobileGenius or GSX systems indicating that the device has been reported as missing, they are instructed to decline the repair, according to Apple’s memo shared on Monday,” reports MacRumors.

Apple Stores and authored providers already won’t work on iPhones that are in Lost Mode. But that’s no help for handsets whose owners never put them into Lost Mode to begin with.

Why wait until now to stop repairing stolen iPhones?

There’s no official explanation why Apple waited this long to stop repairing devices that have been reported lost to the GSMA Device Registry.

One possible reason is that someone who unknowingly buys a stolen iPhone is also victim in this situation. They didn’t steal the device — they only purchased a used iPhone. The way they find out it’s stolen is by discovering that it can’t be repaired. The policy doesn’t punish the thieves, just the people they deceive.

And perhaps Apple has now changed its mind as a way to discourage people from buying used iPhones from strangers. Or at least be aware they are taking a considerable risk by doing so.

That said, there are plenty of third-party repair shops that won‘t check. If you say the iPhone is yours, that’s good enough for them.