Android Lollipop features a kill switch to discourage thieves
Well, Android 5.0 adds another step of protection, when it comes to such cases. The new "Factory Reset Protection" will require one to enter the proper password, if they wish to wipe a phone to its factory defaults. When you combine this with the remote lock feature - you've got yourself a "Kill Switch" feature that actually functions in a much less scary and more practical way than the name suggests.
Of course, it makes no sense to add the Factory Reset Protection to handsets sold only in California. First - smartphone theft is a worldwide issue, and second - such a setup would require more work from the manufacturers. So, naturally, the feature will be available across all Lollipop-loaded devices.
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