Phone 8.0 and newer, subject to mobile operator and phone manufacturer approvals by July 2015, vice president Fred Humphries posted online Thursday. It will update the Find My Phone feature, making it capable of remotely erasing personal data, rendering phones inoperable by unauthorized users except to call 911 and prevent reactivation without the authorized user's permission. It will allow reactivating phones recovered by authorized users and restore erased data stored in the cloud, he wrote.
Apple did not immediately reply to requests for comment.
The iPhone switch is an opt-in feature, requiring users to enable it by touching a series of buttons: settings, iCloud, Find My iPhone. It allows the user to locate the phone on a map and remotely lock or erase it. The initiative, with 29 state attorneys general, dozens of prosecutors, police and other officials as members, advocates kill switches as standard features where users would have to opt out.
Minnesota last month became the first state to mandate a kill switch on all smartphones tablets sold in the state effective July 2015.