This isn’t the first time we’ve heard the term “kill switch” when talking about smartphones. Samsung has talked about it in the past, and now some new reports from the Wall Street Journal is stirring things up again. This new anti-theft system looks to finally curb a massive and growing problem, and it’s already in some devices already.

Stolen phones are a huge problem, and has only increased severely with iPhone and Android phones in nearly every persons hand. The “kill switch” would reportedly make the device completely unusable, which would make stealing ones device rather useless. I like this idea already.

Smartphone theft has reportedly jumped nearly 500% from 2009, and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, so something surely needs to be done. Swapping the SIM card, wiping the phone, or even flashing new firmware wouldn’t get around this “kill switch” and the point of stealing a device would be gone. It’s a big move, and something we’ve seen and heard before.

The folks from Apple have Find my iPhone, and Google’s recently launched a similar service for Android, although it only finds it. Not to mention Pantech started offering this kill switch on all their devices earlier this year. For now we don’t have exact details, but the WSJ reports that both Samsung and LG could introduce this with all their phones moving forward starting in early 2014.

  • SocalTeknique

    As long as eBay exists, people WILL continue to buy/sell stolen smart phones. Specially for parts.

    • Yea but getting $400 for a phone vs $60 for parts.. makes it not quite worth it for many. You make a good point though, sadly.

  • Gary

    What about those who make fraudulent insurance claims that their phone has been stolen, when they have in fact just sold it? This means the poor, unsuspecting individual who purchased the phone will now have a dead phone? This will just kill the resale market (where I buy and sell most of my unlocked smart phones) as everyone will be paranoid!

  • LouAnnWatson

    well, another feature that can be hacked, all to prevent a social problem that is not being addressed