A new report is circulating that looks at home much money consumers could be saved each year in the US if smartphone kill switches were implemented reports PC World. A smartphone kill switch is a software program installed on the smartphone that can render it useless, and thereby unsellable if it is stolen. The report claims that consumers could be saved $2.6 billion each year if the kill switch is implemented.
Law enforcement and politicians are pressuring the wireless carriers in the US to implement these systems. Smartphone theft is one of the most common crimes in the US and some police departments have officers dedicated to this sort of theft.
Carriers are pushing back against the plan. Some believe that the carriers don’t want to lose out on the money earned when people pay for replacement devices and insurance. The report comes from a professor named William Duckworth from Creighton University. He thinks that most of the money saved would come from insurance premiums because customers would change to plans that didn’t cover theft to save money. He figures $2 billion could be saved yearly on that front.
He is also figuring in a savings each year of $580 million for not having to replace devices. A survey made in conjunction with the report found that 99% of users poled think cellular carriers should allow the disabling of a phone if stolen. The survey found that 83% tough a kill switch would reduce theft, and 93% think they should not have to pay more to be able to disable a stolen phone.