Apple has removed the tool that allows users to check whether a phone is Activation Locked from iCloud.com, as first reported by MacRumors. The tool allowed users to enter the serial number or IMEI of iOS devices to find out if Activation Lock was active, helping consumers who were interested in purchasing used devices avoid stolen ones.
When you visit icloud.com/activationlock you’ll find Apple’s 404 “Not Found” page, instead of the tool that has become the de facto authentication step for person-to-person iPhone and iPad sales.
Shortly after it launched with iOS 7, Activation Lock caused issues for resellers, but it’s now commonplace for companies who accept iOS devices for donations or trade-ins to require the current owners to disable Activation Lock before handing over the device. But for right now it’s going to be more difficult to verify if that iPhone on eBay for an unbelievable price is a great deal or a stolen device someone is trying to move quickly.
We’ve reached out to Apple to find out why the tool was removed, but it has yet to respond for a request for comment.