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 7:43:23 PM
As you said, this already partially exists, each carrier has blacklist. But sharing that list won't help much.
The problem is that the market for the stolen phones is not here in the US, there is a big underground trade in stolen phones to be repackaged and resold in developing nations, especially South America. Those carriers would not be subject to this list.
So the need is for something that can affect the phone directly.
"This is about the Internet. Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
SF Senator Wants to Place Kill Switches on Smartphones, Tablets
February 7, 2014, 12:31 PM
4.7" Samsung Galaxy Alpha Smartphone Coming Next Month
July 24, 2014, 8:28 AM
Microsoft Rolls Out Budget Lumia 530 to Replace Hugely Successful Lumia 520
July 23, 2014, 7:47 AM
Apple Posts Record Fiscal Q3 Profit of $7.7B, Sells 35.2M iPhones
July 22, 2014, 4:57 PM
Quick Note: Mobile Use Surpasses PC in China for First Time
July 22, 2014, 11:18 AM
WSJ: Up to 80 Million iPhone 6 Smartphones to be Produced by Year's End
July 22, 2014, 10:57 AM
Quick Note: NVIDIA’s SHIELD Tablet Gets Official
July 22, 2014, 10:00 AM
Most Popular Articles
Microsoft Kills Entertainment Unit, May Shelve Flagship Lumia "McLaren"
July 18, 2014, 7:40 PM
JJ Abrams Unveils X-Wing Starfighter for New "Star Wars" Movie
July 21, 2014, 12:24 PM
Boeing 777 Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 Crashes in Ukraine
July 17, 2014, 1:00 PM
Ford Details ’15 F-150’s 325hp, 2.7L EcoBoost V6; Demonstrates 732-lb Weight Loss
July 22, 2014, 6:55 PM
Toyota Scientist: Autonomous Vehicles May Lead to Increased Fuel Consumption, Pollution
July 18, 2014, 2:42 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information