In a new development, Apple has shut down its iCloud Activation Lock status page on iCloud.com. This service was used by used iPhone buyers to check the authenticity of the seller, before making the purchase online. The URL iCloud.com/activationlock now shows a 404 error, and its references on the Apple support page have also been removed.
This link was very useful for those who bought used iPhone devices online. Since iOS 8, Apple has kept 'Activation Lock' turned on by default. This prevents anyone from activating a device without providing valid Apple ID credentials of the owner. When users sells their iPhone legitimately, they are asked to switch off Activation Lock for it to be transferred to its new owner. During refurbished sale online, this iCloud Activation Lock status page used to help buyers verify if the Activation Lock has been turned off or not. If not, then the online device could potentially be a stolen unit, warning the buyer to not purchase it.
A used iPhone, whose Activation Lock is not turned off, is practically useless for the new owner, as they won't be able to enter in without the previous owner's credentials. This feature was a much-needed security and preventive measure for the benefit of both the buyer and the original owner, and no alternative method has been listed as of yet.
9to5mac was the first to spot the shutting down of the Activation Lock status page, and it even mentioned that all references of it from Apple's support documentation has been removed. As we mentioned, Apple's Activation Lock is enabled by default on all new iPhone devices. We wonder what Apple has up its sleeve, and knowing the company, an alternative should be in the offing. If you wish, you can disable Activation Lock through the Find My iPhone app.