Study: Cell Phone "Kill Switch" Could Save Users $2.5 Billion Annually
April 1, 2014 1:12 PM
comment(s) - last by
Ninety-nine percent of the study's participants were in favor of having a kill switch feature
A new study says implementing a "kill switch" could save mobile consumers billions of dollars per year.
, consumers could stand to save $2.5 billion USD annually with the introduction of a kill switch on smartphones. This breaks down to $500 million in replacing stolen phones and another $2 billion each year in carrier insurance.
A kill switch allows a consumer to completely disable their smartphone once it is stolen or lost in an effort to prevent access to their personal information (as well as general use).
The study, which was conducted by William Duckworth, a statistics professor at Creighton University, said that the implementation of a kill switch would prevent the increasing number of annual cell phone thefts because a disabled smartphone is of no use to anyone.
“If theft becomes a non-issue then only the most paranoid person would pay the extra money for premium insurance to cover theft,” said Duckworth.
In 2012, about 1.6 million cell phones were stolen in the United States. Some police departments around the country have said that the crimes are becoming increasingly violent, even leading to death.
While many have pushed for kill switches on cell phones -- such as San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman -- the CTIA, which is the wireless industry trade group representing major carriers, opposes the idea.
According to the CTIA, criminals could break into the kill switch feature and disable the phones of regular consumers and even law enforcement.
However, others believe the CTIA just wants consumers to continue buying cell phone insurance from carriers. The U.S. top four carriers made $7.8 billion USD last year in insurance premiums from their customers, so of course they don't want to lose that income.
The problem is that carrier insurance is not always the solution consumers expect. Carriers typically use a third-party provider called Asurion, which charges anywhere from $7 to $11 per month and sometimes has high deductibles of about $200 for lost phones, and the "new" phone you get can be refurbished. Sometimes you don't even get the same model you lost.
Duckworth's study found that 99 percent of participants were in favor of having a kill switch feature.
In February, Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco)
introduced a bill
that would require all smartphones and tablets sold in California to have a kill switch.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Better ways to do it
4/1/2014 2:16:00 PM
What he's describing could more accurately be called a key. Just like if you put your key into your car, the doors unlock and the engine starts. But if someone puts their key into your car, they can't unlock the doors and the engine won't start.
Like wise, if you are the person on record as having purchased a specific phone, then the carriers' computers would allow you to attach a service plan to it. If you are not the registered purchaser (or someone the original purchaser transferred ownership to), then you cannot get a service plan for that phone.
They're already collecting all sorts of data on your purchasing, calling, browsing, and travel habits. Might as well put some of it to use helping you if your phone gets stolen.
RE: Better ways to do it
4/2/2014 4:45:43 PM
But that system opens up the possibility of carriers monetizing the transfer process. If I want to sell my friend my old phone... "Well, there's a $50 transfer fee for that, and they'll need to sign up on a contract with us." It's my hardware, but they will have all the power regarding whether or not it's more than a brick.
I'm not saying I'm totally against the idea, it's just that there likely won't be a silver bullet to address the issue they're trying to solve.
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
SF Senator Wants to Place Kill Switches on Smartphones, Tablets
February 7, 2014, 12:31 PM
Retiree Sues Apple For $7,500 for Wiping Honeymoon Photos From His iPhone
November 30, 2015, 10:23 AM
iPhone 7 May Pack 3-4 GB Memory, More Storage; 4-Inch Comeback is Rumored
November 20, 2015, 10:12 PM
OnePlus One, OnePlus 2 Will Receive Android Marshmallow in Q1 2016
November 16, 2015, 9:58 AM
Lenovo Whoa: Motorola Droid MAXX 2 and Turbo 2 Break Cover in Leaks
October 26, 2015, 3:12 PM
Leak: Apple Preps for First Real Android App Foray With New Apple Music App
October 24, 2015, 1:59 PM
Pepsi Smartphone? Empty Calories Coming Soon to the Midrange
October 12, 2015, 11:41 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information