Apple will reportedly no longer fix iPhones flagged as stolen or missing

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Apple technicians will decline to fix iPhones that had been reported as stolen or lost, according to MacRumors. The tech giant has reportedly sent out a memo to Apple Stores and authorized providers not to accept a device for repair if they get a notice on their internal MobileGenius or GSX systems that the phone had been marked as missing. Presumably, that means technicians will check a device’s IMEI against the GSMA Device Registry when a customer brings it in for repair. 

The GSMA registry is a global database where owners can register their devices’ IMEI and designate a status for them, such as whether they’d been lost, stolen or were fraudulently obtained. This move expands Apple’s existing policy to decline repairs for devices whose owners cannot disable the Find My iPhone feature. It could discourage more people from buying second-hand devices outside of official and authorized sources in case they unknowingly end up with a stolen unit. That said, users could just as easily go to a third-party repair shop that doesn’t care where they got their devices from. 

Apple’s iPhones have become increasingly cost-prohibitive over the years, giving rise to a market for second-hand units. According to a recent Bloomberg report, though, the tech giant is working on a subscription service for the iPhone and other hardware to make regular upgrades more accessible with monthly fees and no huge upfront costs. 

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