Over the years, many people have talked about the potential benefits of building a ‘kill switch’ into mobile phones, and now, a figure has been released which helps to quantify how much of a benefit this feature would be, in financial terms.
According to research done by William Duckworth PhD, of Creighton University, having a kill switch built into mobile phones, one that could be activated to render the phone useless if it’s stolen, could save consumers in the region of $2.6billion (the equivalent of around £1.5billion) every year!
This is, of course, on top of the fact that it might well make theft of mobile phones less prevalent. Muggers would be far less inclined to steal your Samsung Galaxy S5 or your Sony Xperia Z2 if they knew that the phone would be left as a non-working, and thus essentially worthless, brick. The central idea behind Professor Duckworth’s research is that it would that the monetary benefit would happen as a result of reducing the amount of theft; with less theft, people might not feel it necessary to pay insurance premiums against their phone being stolen.
There are some problems with the report, of course, in that people could still steal phones for their parts, although it is likely that a kill switch would indeed lower the amount of theft.
The other important point is that insurance doesn’t just cover the phone against theft, and it also offers peace of mind against your phone being damaged, something that a kill switch would do nothing to prevent.
Still, while having insurance is definitely still a good idea (because accidents and cracked screens can happen), it’s hard to argue against something that might make society itself a nicer place!