When Apple introduced the launch of “iCloud” back in October of 2011, they amazed the world with their new storage technology, but left many wondering what in... "the cloud?" it was. iCloud enabled you to have your information automatically backed up to a secure server, in case your device was no longer usable. It also enabled users to access this data anytime anywhere from Apple’s site www.icloud.com. This new technology was a game changer as it gave users peace-of-mind that their data on their Apple device couldn't be lost.
Included in iCloud was an application called “find my iPhone”. Find my iPhone was a way for users to track their iPhone if it was ever lost or stolen. Find my iPhone comes installed with every iPhone. If you don't want to use find my iPhone you need to go into the settings of the phone and manually disable it.
iCloud also protects a device from being able to be used by someone else if it were ever to be stolen, because in order to access an iCloud account the access password would need to be entered. And if the device was ever to be wiped and erased, the device would still be unusable unless the same password was entered. This is referred to now as an “iCloud Locked iPhone”.
This “iCloud lock” was revolutionary and had a ripple effect across the entire cell phone industry. This lock makes a phone useless for thieves when stealing an iPhone, but it also made millions of perhaps lost devices that were perfectly good, unusable. If you look at "iCloud locked" from an environmental standpoint, potentially millions of locked devices would have prevented the manufacturing of millions more to replace them. Since these locked devices cannot be used, this also results in the sale of many millions of new iPhones. Flash-forward to 2019, and iCloud now comes standard on all new devices sold. Coincidentally, the iCloud lock is great for Apple's bottom line, but unfortunately the environment didn't get a vote in the matter.
At Cell Clinic we have chosen not to purchase iCloud locked devices as this contributes to the proceeds of crime, but we do recycle them for free — so that there are no further crimes against nature committed.
An iCloud locked phone is essentially as useful as a brick, unless you know the previous user's email AND password (their Apple ID). If you have unknowingly came into possession of an iCloud locked device, most often it's because you have mistakenly bought a locked device from a fraudster. As upsetting and financially devastating as this can be, you should not try to re-sell the device to someone else, unless advertising it is as "iCloud locked." You should try to get in touch with the seller and let him know the phone is locked. But if you have been a victim of fraud, you should report this and all of the information about the seller that you know to the police. If you are in possession of an iCloud locked device and cannot return it to its owner, and don't want to recycle it… here is a list things that you can do with an iCloud locked iPhone:
Use It For Spare Parts
Cell Clinic does not buy iCloud locked iPhones for parts, but they can be parted out. The most valuable part on the iPhone will be its screen. You could theoretically move the screen of the iPhone over to a non iCloud locked, but it would have to be the exact same iPhone model. Other than the screen there's not too much value for the rest of the parts. Most of the small parts like cameras, charge ports or batteries can be purchased for less than $5. The labour to disassemble the iPhone to sell parts would make it not worth your time. Some of the newer iPhones which had retailed for over $1000, do have screens worth a fair bit of money, but only in the hands of someone with the exact same model that currently has a broken screen. Use It As A Demo Phone
The phone can be used to promote an accessory such as a phone case or phone holder. We currently use the iCloud locked iPhones we get in our stores to display the different types of Protection Pro phone wraps that can be installed on your iPhone. Using an iCloud locked iPhone for demoing is only useful if you have something to demo.
Use It As A Prop
Since an iCloud locked phone looks exactly like an unlocked one, it can be used to pretend you are using an iPhone. We have seen iCloud locked phones used as a prop in the film industry often. Since we have one of our locations in the downtown core of Vancouver, we are often approached by filmmakers to use as props for their movies. Fun fact the tv series “Prison Break” used Cell Clinic’s iCloud locked devices for props in their TV series during production in Vancouver. Use It As A Paper Weight
The average weight of an iPhone is approximately 4.5 ounces, making it useful for keeping papers together and weighted down on your desk. This now paper weight originally retailed for over a grand... so it over delivers as a paperweight. Please be careful if you do decide to use it as a paperweight not to not knock it off your desk, as it is extremely fragile and made of glass and will break and possibly shatter if dropped onto a hard surface.
Now that we've covered pretty much everything you CAN do with an iCloud locked iPhone, we have also included a list of things NOT to do with your iCloud locked phone.
What NOT To Do With An iCloud Locked Phone
Try To Sell It As A Working iPhone
A thing some people try to do with an iCloud locked iPhone is to try to sell it to someone passing it off as unlocked. The iPhone could be functional and look like its a working phone making it easy to fool someone, but please remember this not only immoral but potentially illegal depending on where you live. We receive calls all of the time about how someone has unexpectedly purchased an iCloud locked iPhone from Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace — so please be careful when buying from those sites.
If you have wasted your money on an iCloud locked phone, you may have some built up anger, but DO NOT take it out on the phone if you can avoid it. The reason for this is due to its lithium battery inside. If this battery is punctured in anyway, the battery can burst into flames, potentially causing serious injury. The chemical reaction takes place when oxygen meets the internal components of the battery. This is another good reason to properly recycle any unwanted mobile device that you have. If you have a Cell Clinic store nearby, we will recycle your device for free.
Use It As A Skipping Stone
You may be thinking “the iPhone has such a flat surface, it would make a great skipping stone”! Although you wouldn't be wrong, please DO NOT throw your phone into any body of water. An iPhone is one of the worst things you can improperly dispose of, as a single cell phone thrown away can pollute up to 40 thousand gallons of water. E-waste is some of the most toxic materials partly due to the lithium battery in the devices. Truthfully, there is really only one thing that you should do with a locked iPhone — recycle It!
About Cell Clinic
Cell Clinic is British Columbia's premier pre-owned mobile sales and service company (with locations in Vancouver & Surrey) — a family-owned business with a dedicated team of professionals that have earned a solid reputation for delivering friendly and trusted service. Cell Clinic strives to provide the absolute highest level of service in the pre-owned mobile device (& more) repair/sales industry. Visit who we are to learn more.