Apple this week announced that they are going to require 6 digit passcodes instead of 4 digit passcodes for the lock screen.
Newer ipads and iphones will require the 6 digit passcodes. That’s apparently more secure than 4 digit passcodes.
The only reason to go to 6 digits is when your phone gets stolen by someone who can brute force 10,000 codes (with 4 digits). Well, apparently, most people use pretty common passwords, so if you only try 27 known passcodes (such as 1111) then your chances of unlocking the phone are at 67%. That means only a third of the people actually use complicated passcodes that will take more than 15 minutes to crack.
If however, you have 6 digits, then the combinations are a million (versus 10,000+) so, it should take longer and more effort to crack your password.
I doubt that. 90% of people will go with 111111 instead of 1111 is my guess, or 123456 instead of 1234. Now, your stolen phone will take 22 minutes to be unlocked instead of 15. Yay!
I am going to assume that most people will upgrade to the new OS version so about 500 million (534 million to be exact) iOS devices will be upgraded to 6 digit passcodes.
The median salary in the US is about $42,000 and the median iPhone users salary worldwide is higher – $53,000.
90% of the iPhone users move to 6 digit passcodes and each user actually unlocks their phone 50 times a day (given that most users glance or unlock their phone 150 – 500 times a day, it is a reasonable assumption).
The extra two digits will cause 1 second more to unlock is also a fair assumption to make.
This equates to $6,551,388,888.89 in productivity loss every year.
With no discernible added security. All for a feature going from 4 digit passcodes to 6 digits.
There were 1.6 Million phones stolen in 2014. The average price of the stolen iPhone was $250, equating to a $400 Million market.
End note: I know the value of a stolen iPhone to a user (especially if there is a loss of life tragically in some cases) is much more than $250, but a 6 digit passcode is not going to change that for the better.