What would you do if your iPhone gets stolen or lost?

by Klaus on June 22, 2009

in iPhone

With the new iPhone OS 3.0 update, you have some nifty new tools available, if you’re a Mobile Me subscriber. Login to your Mobile Me account and you can use “Find my iPhone“, if you have Push notifications enabled on the iPhone (or Fetch, but then it won’t be as instant as with Push).

Using the “Find my iPhone” you can:

  • See approximately where your iPhone is, using cell tower triangulation and built-in GPS.
  • Send a text message to the phone, e.g. “This iPhone is lost, please phone me at ……” – and have it play a “submarine ping”-like sound for 2 minutes.
  • Remote wipe. Completely clear your iPhone remotely for all your personal data.

But what will you do, if you suddenly cannot find your iPhone in the pocket anymore? Send a text message to it, hoping a good samaritan will call you back or hand it over to the police? What if it was stolen, the thief will see the message and he might turn it off, disable the data connection (if he’s clever) or do a reset, making you unable to do a remote wipe afterwards.

If you do a remote wipe, you will not be able send a “Find my iPhone”-text.

I think, what I would do, is the following:

  1. First, use “Find my iPhone” to see where it is. If I cannot get it back, wherever it might be, I will:
  2. Do a remote wipe, to make sure all my details are of it.
  3. Send a text (SMS) to it, from another phone, so I might get it back. Just in case it’s not stolen, but I just lost it somewhere (unlikely…).

BUT – and it’s a big but – I’m not sure if SMS messages will even be displayed on the phone after doing a remote wipe? I would imagine that the phone will restart, requiring the SIM pin number to be entered, before it will receive new messages. So maybe my idea doesn’t work after all…

Here’s an interesting story on how Kevin used “Find my iPhone” to track down his lost iPhone, worth reading.

What would you do?

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