It’s currently far too easy for thieves to sell a stolen Apple Watch

“Here’s the sad truth: the very expensive Apple Watch is now also the easiest Apple gadget to steal,” Chris Welch reports for The Verge.

MacDailyNews Take: Something’s sad about that intro, but it certainly isn’t the truth. If something starting at $349 is “very expensive,” we’d hate to see how Welch would characterize our 128GB iPhone 6 Pluses. How about “potentially very expensive” instead? After all, the vast majority of Apple Watches sold will be $349-$399 Apple Watch Sport models.

“For Apple’s smartwatch, there is no such thing as Activation Lock, the anti-theft measure that makes stolen iPhones useless to thieves,” Welch reports. “The Apple Watch doesn’t have Activation Lock or any equivalent designed for a wrist-worn device. Nor can you locate it with Apple’s “Find My iPhone” app, which can track the last known whereabouts of your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or even a Mac. That second part makes sense since the Apple Watch doesn’t have a GPS chip inside. But the smartwatch can connect to known Wi-Fi networks, so theoretically Apple could offer some idea of where it last held an internet connection, even if there’s no way to guarantee that’s where your Watch stayed. As of now, the option’s just not there. Your Watch can help find your phone, but nothing exists to help recover the Watch.”

Apple Watch's Passcode screen
Apple Watch’s Passcode screen
“With the product being so new, there haven’t been many headlines about Apple Watch muggings or ugly theft incidents yet, and hopefully there won’t be. But take a look at Craigslist or eBay, and you’ll see Apple’s smartwatch selling for way above its retail value,” Welch reports. “For thieves, the temptation is there. Apple can play a huge part in dissuading them by making sure your Watch stays yours — or at least rendering it useless to anyone else.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote yesterday: “We have high hopes for Watch OS 1.1.”

Related article:
Apple Watch lacks necessary security features to dissuade theft – May 13, 2015


  1. This article is mostly ignorance. Once the watch is removed from your arm the thief would need your passcode to get in, otherwise the watch is nearly useless. As long as you have a good passcode, thieves get a brick. I think it won’t be long before thieves figure out that that guy’s Rolex is way more useful than my iWatch.

  2. What a load of crap. You’d have to mug someone to get the watch off their wrist. Stealing a phone is merely a snatch and run.

    If I were a watch their, I’d be looking for Rolexes before I went after an Apple Watch. If I’m going to get into a physical altercation with a victim, why not got for a really expensive watch. There are a lot more Rolexes out there than there are Apple Watches.

    Perhaps the reason you’re not reading about Apple Watches being stolen is because they aren’t, not in any significant numbers.

    Here we go again, holding Apple to a standard applied to none of the competition.

    I wish I could get paid as much for writing my opinion as Welch gets. It’s probably worth about as much.

    All that said, Apple could shut this talk down with a few lines of code, so I hope they do.

    1. Take a look at Rolexes on eBay. If you’re going to go to the trouble of stealing a watch to sell on eBay, go for the big bucks. The least expensive Rolex is about 2-1/2 to 3 times the average cost of an Apple Watch.

      1. I suppose that would be true if there were equal numbers of both Rolexes and Apple Watches.. The thief is probably looking to get what he can and the ever increasing number of Apple Watches said to be in the wild will only increase over time the proportion of Apple Watches over other brands stolen.

    2. I agree completely. It’s not Apple’s responsibility to make sure that folks don’t get mugged. However, something as easy as connecting the serial number with your Apple ID when first paired with the iPhone, and asking for the password after a restore, should be easy enough and at least be a bit of a deterrent.

    3. In other startling news, it is currently far too easy for thieves to use the cash in your wallet – or your credit cards – or sell your stolen car, fancy jacket, wedding ring, earrings – or break into your house, or, or, or…….

    4. Perhaps the reason you’re not reading about Apple Watches being stolen is because they aren’t, not in any significant numbers.

      You’re right of course, but THAT fact doesn’t have anything to do with ease-of-theft. They simply haven’t been been manufactured or sold yet in significant numbers.

  3. If you lose your watch your’e a dummy and deserve to lose your watch.

    If you live in or frequent a bad area you should conceal carry or move out. If accosted for your watch (very unlikely) shoot them between the pockets. Problem solved.

    This is a non issue promoted by people that have too much time on their hands.

    1. @L “If accosted for your watch (very unlikely) shoot them between the pockets. Problem solved.”

      No! Problems are just starting. Murder charge coming in three, two, one…

      It’s against the law to use deadly force to protect property, and you’ll be charged with 2nd degree murder if you do it. You have to be able to convince the authorities that your life was in danger before you can lawfully use deadly force, even if you do have a concealed carry permit.

  4. iPhones and laptops are easy stolen because you don’t wear them. The vast majority of those that were stolen were not at gunpoint.
    Through the corse of the day, the only time most people will take off their watch will be when they go to bed.

  5. Again the media is nitpicking over some Apple product. There must be dozens of smartwatches already on the market and this is the first I’ve ever heard about needing some password security so people don’t steal the watch. Is there any difference between losing an AppleWatch or some MacBook Pro besides the price? Why this constant complaining about what AppleWatch lacks? It’s a shame how Apple products are always being scrutinized by people who have nothing better to do with their lives. No one is going to die if they lose their AppleWatch. It’s never going to be the perfect smartwatch although it will probably improve over time. I doubt it’s going to make the wearer a greater mugging target any more than if they were wearing some high-end analog watch.

  6. So, Apple builds a watch that extends the possibilities of what a watch can be, but somehow it’s flawed because someone can steal it if you leave it somewhere, just like any other watch?

    By that same logic, the Apple Watch is flawed because It doesn’t make pie.

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