Several Apple stores were broken into and looted during the ongoing protests in the United States over the death of an African-American George Floyd. Apple’s iPhones were looted from these stores. However, it seems the company won’t be giving up their devices easily as they have been able to track many.
The retails stores located in New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Washington and Philadelphia have been tracked. Apple devices stolen from these retail locations received an on-screen message that read: "This device has been disabled and is being tracked. Local authorities will be alerted".
These people even mentioned on social media that the phones that they picked up during the loot were disabled and blocked.
Apple was working towards opening more than 100 stores in the US which were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"On the device was a message alerting the user that the iPhone is disabled and should be returned to the store. It's not clear if Apple or law enforcement plans to do anything with the data it collects," reports the Motley Fool.
Earlier reports claimed that Apple has a hidden software that disables an iPhone if it's stolen from one of its stores. It has now been proven.
Apple Stores in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington have been the target of vandalism and looting during recent protests over Floyd's death.
Other retailers like Target, Walmart and Amazon's Whole Foods have also shut stores or shorten working hours.
Apple managed to reopen nearly 256 retail stores out of more than 500 worldwide, as it aims to safely restart operations.
CEOs of top tech companies have come out in support to express solidarity with people of colour, especially the African-American community. Apple CEO Tim Cook stressed that right now, there is a pain deeply etched in the soul of the nation and in the hearts of millions. "To stand together, we must stand up for one another, and recognize the fear, hurt, and outrage rightly provoked by the senseless killing of George Floyd and a much longer history of racism," Cook said in a memo to employees.
"That painful past is still present today e not only in the form of violence, but in the everyday experience of deeply rooted discrimination," he added. Cook said that there has been progress since the America he grew up in, "but it is similarly true that communities of colour continue to endure discrimination and trauma".
"At Apple, our mission has and always will be to create technology that empowers people to change the world for the better.
"For all of our colleagues hurting right now, please know that you are not alone, and that we have resources to support you," Cook noted.