There’s not much carriers can do except to pursue it legally, which we imagine will more expensive than the cost of the phone itself, but Google might have a solution to that – locking the phone remotely. XDA Developers has discovered an app on the Play Store called “Device Lock Controller” which basically allows a company to remotely lock your smartphone if you fail to make payments.
The app’s description reads, “Device Lock Controller enables device management for credit providers. Your provider can remotely restrict access to your device if you don’t make payments. If your device is restricted, basic functionality, such as emergency calling and access to settings, will still be available.”
However, Google has since claimed that the listing on the Play Store was a mistake. Instead, the app is supposed to have been made in collaboration with Kenyan carrier Safaricom for an Android Go financing plan. This would suggest that this won’t become a new thing for carriers, although XDA’s Mishaal Rahman did note in a tweet that he had heard that there are plans to expand the availability of this app.