Smartphone thefts focus of summit
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is hosting a smartphone summit Thursday in Manhattan to address increasing phone thefts, said he will reserve judgment on a new anti-theft feature for Apple's iPhones announced Monday.
The summit, announced last week, will be co-hosted by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and attended by representatives from smartphone makers Apple Inc., Google Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. and Microsoft Corp.
Schneiderman and Gascon said in the initial announcement of the event that they planned to press cellphone makers to produce phones that could become inoperable once stolen to discourage thefts In 2012, up to 40 percent of robberies in major U.S. cities were related to smartphones, said the Federal Communications Commission.
Although Apple unveiled a new anti-theft feature for its iPhone at its annual software developers conference Monday, Schneiderman and Gascon said in a joint statement after the announcement that they looked forward to the summit and would wait to see how the Apple feature worked before commenting on its capabilities.
The anti-theft function built into the new iOS 7 operating system will require an Apple ID and password to reactivate an iPhone even after its data is wiped, Apple said. The company said the new function also prevents thieves from turning off the Find My Phone feature on iPhone, which allows owners to track their phones remotely.