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Still no smartphone kill switch? Blame the carriers

Evan Dashevsky | Nov. 20, 2013
Samsung emails reveal that the major US carriers vetoed plans to pre-package a kill switch on every phone.

The report goes on to state that the emails would eat into the profit the carriers make off from insurance programs that consumers buy to cover lost or stolen phones. Each of the four major carriers offer some form of phone insurance available for an additional $8-per-month (with the exception of AT&T, which offers its Mobile Insurance plan for $7-per-month).

However these monthly fees may not be the only service that plants green in the carriers' eyes. According to Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, the carriers may be planning to offer proprietary kill switches of their own—for a fee.

"If carriers are in fact rejecting 'kill switches,' they would be doing it so that they, themselves, can monetize the feature," Moorhead stated. "Carriers make a lot of money on service and feature add-ons, and a kill switch could be lucrative business."

Gascón has said that he is evaluating what action to take regarding the carriers' refusal to allow Samsung to pre-load a kill switch on its phones.

In the meantime, we terrified residents of the post-apocalyptic Mad Max-like world of the mobile age can at least find some solace in the fact that our criminal predators tend to be really stupid.

 

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