Apple has implemented a new policy that prevents Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers from servicing or repairing any iPhones that have been reported missing (AASP).
According to MacRumors‘ sources, Apple has sent out an internal memo explaining how technicians can now see a message on either the internal MobileGenius or GSX systems that flags an iPhone as missing. Afterwards, the technician will have to decline to perform the repair, but it appears that Apple will not go any further and the customer will be able to leave with their iPhone (still broken).
Information about missing iPhones can be found in a GSMA Device Registry database maintained by Apple. People can report their missing or stolen devices to the registry, and the mobile industry and other sectors can respond if they look at the registry.
It begs the question: why did Apple take so long to implement this new policy? Then, if your iPhone was stolen and turned up at an Apple Store for a repair, would you prefer that Apple simply deny the repair, or seize the phone? If Apple won’t go that far, I’ll understand, but if Apple or an AASP can find and keep my stolen iPhone, I’ll be more than happy.