Activation Lock

An activation lock is a security feature implemented by Apple on its devices such as iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. When activated, it ties the device to the iCloud account of the owner, making it difficult for anyone else to use or sell the device without permission. This feature is also known as Find my iPhone or Find my Phone.

Managing activation locks on corporate-owned mobile devices requires businesses to use MDM software in conjunction with a Zero Touch Enrollment Program. This can be particularly useful when an employee leaves on bad terms and the user’s Apple ID password is unknown.

What should businesses know about activation locks?

Activation locks can make it more difficult to recycle or reconfigure devices, particularly if the lock is enabled and the device is still associated with a previous owner’s iCloud account.

Companies who recycle mobile devices may refuse to accept devices with activation locks since they cannot be reset and reused, reducing the number of devices that can be repurposed or recycled. This can create a potential environmental problem, as electronic waste can pose a risk to the environment and human health – not to mention reduced trade-in value.

Similarly, reconfiguring devices can be challenging if they are still locked. For example, a company may have a device that is no longer in use, but they want to reconfigure it for a new employee. If the device is still associated with the previous employee’s iCloud account, the activation lock will prevent it from being reset, potentially creating delays and productivity losses.

How can a managed mobility services provider help with activation locks?

  • Device enrollment: With a formal device enrollment process, businesses can ensure that devices are enrolled in supervised mode to your MDM with the help of Apple Business Manager. This can reduce the risk of unauthorized Activation Lock and improve device security.
  • Unlocking devices: If a device needs to be recycled, reconfigured, or sold, an MMS provider can help unlock the device through the manufacturer, or by using the appropriate tools and procedures to remove the activation lock with your MDM.
  • Device tracking and management: An MMS provider can track device locations and usage, and can remotely wipe devices if they become lost or stolen with your MDM. They can also ensure that your MDM keeps devices updated with the latest security patches and software updates.

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