Returning to iOS 6 keeps activation lock

Discussion in 'iOS 7' started by mac00l, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. mac00l macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2011
    So today I decided to downgrade again to iOS 6. The process was quite simple but what surprised me, is that the feature in iOS 7 "Activation lock" was kept in iOS 6.

    I was prompted to input my Apple account linked with the device to activate it. These are good news, because it means that the feature is embed in the firmware, not the OS. Meaning it will be harder to get around it. Furthermore as it authenticates with Apple, even if hackers are able to unlock it without the account. Odds are that either Apple will be able to lock it again OTA, and/or the iPhone will be permanently unable to activate apple's services (itunes match, imessages, icloud, gamecenter, etc...) or perhaps even enables the former owner to track the device even if it is restored.

    All of that, paired with IMEI blocking by the carrier will make it a pain for thieves to sell those phones.

    The scenarios I'm foreseeing are:

    A: Thieves unlock the phone and sell it as a stolen one.
    This will make it easier for authorities to track them. At the same time, the one who buy the device won't be able to use it to it fullest, nor will be able to update to the latest software. People won't buy devices under those conditions, and even if they do, they will ask for a cheaper price, making it less profitable to steal them. Hence decreasing steals.

    B: Thieves unlock the phone and sell it without letting the user know it was stolen.
    Depending on Apple's approach, this will either enable the former owner to recover the device in the next software update. Or will lock the phone forever for the unsuspicious new owner.

    All of them are good news.
  2. campingsk8er macrumors 6502

    Feb 4, 2011
    Elizabethtown, PA
    Or they could sell it for parts...

    But I do agree that this is good though.
  3. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    1. There will be a constant flood of posts to the forum saying "I just bought an iPhone off Craigslist / eBay / random person on the street, and it's asking me for an Apple ID and password. What do I do????” Regular forum posters will quickly get sick and tired of it, and will complain bitterly every time they see such a post.

    2. Someone will eventually figure out how to defeat the activation lock, and the method will become generally known among the tech-savvy. This will lead to heated arguments over the ethics of whether to help people who unknowingly ended up buying stolen phones, each time someone posts a post per (1) above.

    In other words, business as usual on MacRumors. :cool:
  4. Gjwilly, Jun 22, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013

    Gjwilly macrumors 68030

    May 1, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    It isn't in the firmware. It's in the iOS and on Apple's servers.
    Once iOS7 is installed, every device becomes permanently linked to an Apple ID until it is specifically unlinked by turning off Find My iPhone and turning it off requires your password.
    Every reset or restore now prompts you to turn it off.
    If you don't you can't reset.
    If you do then it proceeds with the reset and then links to the new (or the same) Apple ID upon the next activation, regardless of which iOS is on the device.
    If you use DFU mode then the device never gets unlinked and again, upon activation it will require the password.
    In this way the burden for locking and unlocking is totally upon the owner.
    I really can't see Apple ever agreeing to remote or OTA locking. Far too easy for that to be abused by unscrupulous owners who sell devices and then renege.
  5. nahfat macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2014

    So, once I install iOS 7, my Apple ID will be permanently linked to that device?
  6. chrisapple116 macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2014
    nowhere and everywhere
    Not permanently, you will be asked to log out of iTunes with your password before your able to erase all contacts and settings. This will disassociate your Apple ID to the device.
  7. Xenomorph macrumors 65816


    Aug 6, 2008
    St. Louis
    If I'm not mistaken, iOS 5 will also ask for your username and password with Activation Lock.

    Everything iOS 5 and higher will attempt to activate online.

    iOS 4 and lower activates through iTunes, but I have not tried restoring to iOS 4 to see if gets around activation lock. It's possible that even older versions of iTunes may still prompt for username and password.
  8. sizzlin321 macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2012
    Just tried downgrading to 5.0.1 and 4.2.1 on an Activation Locked iPhone 4. iTunes asks for an the Apple ID tied to the iPhone.

    TL;DR Downgrading does not circumvent Activation Lock, don't waste your time.

    Of course, you can try hacktivating the earlier versions, unsure on how that would work out though.
  9. Xenomorph macrumors 65816


    Aug 6, 2008
    St. Louis
    Yup, iPhone activation has always been Server Side.

    That's a huge thing that puts it above competition. Even if Google tries to get something like it for Android, Apple has had a seven year head start on them.
  10. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Oct 17, 2011
    Well activation lock has only been around for about a year. And even that aside what does having a lead have anything to do with it? When Google started Yahoo! had about a 5 year lead in online search technology, experience, and popularity, and clearly that all meant something and translated well into Google not making anything of themselves quickly in the world of online search, right?

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