On this Earth Day, many of you probably have a couple of old cellphones lying around that you’d like to donate or recycle. But, many of the donated iPhones have to be scrapped, because the “Find my iPhone” feature was not disabled, and the phone is not reusable.
The Wireless Alliance in Lafayette collects thousands of used devices every month that could be reused. But a used iPhone cannot be activated y a new user if the activation lock, which is the find my iPhone feature, is enabled. This feature stops a thief, or a recycler, from reactivating your phone with a new phone number.
"We are trying to make the public aware of this issue and make sure they turn off this feature before they trade it in or donate it,” said Andy Bates, VP of The Wireless Alliance.
In the last 3 years, the company collected 66,000 phones with this problem. All of those phones had to be parted out. None of them go to the landfill, but the phones are out of the marketplace.
“We want to make sure they have a long life, both for environmental reasons, but also we want to make sure there is a robust consumer market of used phones. It helps reduce the cost,” said Danny Katz, with the Colorado Public Interest Research Group.
He hopes the recycling companies and the manufacturers can find a way to resolve the problem. In the meantime, if you are donating your phone to be reused, make sure to disable that feature, by going into settings, clicking your apple id, then iCloud and find my iPhone.