I'll be damned.
A recent leak of the BB10 OS included a "pin blacklist" file. It had never been seen before.
It didn't take long before the practical application of this showed up "in the wild" -- note the following on Crackberry's forum:
Jus (sic) got a reply from blackberry support after inquiring bout this issue. It can only be blocked by them and they said it means the device was reported lost or stolen. So the only he said he could help me is if I had the original receipt of purchase from carrier. So if u guys have it'l be unblocked within 48 hours.
Hoh hoh hoh.
One of the points I've made about iPhones (and other phones, but particularly iPhones) is that the manufacturers have never given a damn about stolen devices. Apple in particular could easily implement a blacklist because the phones talk to Apple's servers all the time and they have unique, unchangeable IDs. As such "soft-bricking" it so it's useless (except perhaps to make emergency calls) until the "stolen" flag is dropped is trivial -- if they cared to do so.
But you see it's quite profitable -- both for Apple and your carrier -- if your phone is stolen.
The reason is obvious: You then have to buy a new one and Apple gets another sale as a consequence of someone's crime against you.
And your carrier loves it too because they get to charge you "unsubsidized" prices if you're in contract and not upgrade-eligible -- which can mean you may be out $500 or more.
Gee, there isn't an incentive to refuse to block stolen devices from being used even though doing so is easy, right?
European carriers have had an IMEI blacklist (similar to this) for a long time to deter theft-and-resale but US carriers have refused to implement same. This, of course, winds up being very profitable for them if your phone is stolen. It also makes for a nice place (here, in the US) to dump stolen European phones where the blacklist doesn't reach.
Well, it appears that BlackBerry is taking the exact opposite view and doing what the US carriers won't. Not only that but it appears that they're doing it not through just "leaked" operating systems but also through OTA updates -- and all of those come from BlackBerry's servers and thus are under their control.
This implementation will also dramatically reduce shrinkage (theft) in the retail and wholesale channel. Stealing a phone from a store (or a lot of them from a warehouse) now has a zero value since once the theft is reported BlackBerry can render the devices worthless until and unless they are returned to their rightful owner.
The theft-and-resale potential for BB10 devices just dropped precipitously and as soon as people figure this out generally in the criminal community the "fence" value of a stolen BB10 device will be zero since it won't work anywhere in the world if the PIN number, which is unique to the device and cannot be changed, is blacklisted.
To my knowledge BlackBerry is the first mobile device manufacturer to do this and it's a good thing.
This is a manufacturer that has taken your interest to heart in deterring the theft of your phone by making its resale value nil. It therefore is much-less likely that someone will steal it, as if they do it will wind up reported, blacklisted and worthless.
Now in the United States you can buy a device from a company that aligns with your interest in deterring the theft of your high-tech device, of you so choose.
There's only one such company today -- BlackBerry.
It's about damn time.
Where We Are, Where We're Heading (2013) - The annual 2013 Ticker
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