I asked a similar question on android.stackexchange.com and I'd like to see how the answer compares for iOS devices:
If my iPhone is stolen, can I remotely brick the thing, so resale value drops to zero?
For apps like Apple's Find My Phone, how feasible is it for a thief to remove the apps? The answer to this sort of motivates my asking the first question about bricking. The more possible it is to remove the remote tracking/data erasing apps, the higher incentive I might have to just brick the thing, cut my losses, and deprive the thief of any profit from his/her crime.