Apple recently announced that they're going to add three features to try to make their phones and tablets less attractive to thieves. iOS7 will force you to re-enter your Apple ID to:
- erase data
- turn off Find My iPhone
- reactivate the phone after it has been erased remotely
I'd contend that Apple's long coveted iPhone has actually created this smartphone theft problem in the first place. Prior to everyone wanting the "cool smartphone", phone theft occurred, but it wasn't at the same scale. Once the Apple marketing machine kicked in and the iPhone/2/3/3GS/4/4S/5 came out and Apple fanboys and fangirls were acting snobbish about how superior their phone was to everything else on the market, people needed to have them. Those that are less scrupulous would then find ways to steal other's devices.
While I applaud the addition of these features by default, there is nothing preventing them from including these features now. You don't need a wholesale OS upgrade to get these features. Apple should have turned this on years ago, and we should not praise them for turning this on now. They could have helped to fix this problem any day of any week of any month for the last several years. I can only theorize why they haven't. Could it be that they were letting thieving and the drama that goes along with it help to drive up demand of their prized, and significantly profitable, devices?
One can only theorize...
In the mean time, read up on the Prey Project, and how you can activate some of these features on your phone today, like asking for an Apple ID to remove programs: http://preyproject.com/blog/2013/04/tip-stop-prey-from-being-deleted-on-iphone-ipad