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Snippet: Apple Readies System to Load Up Latest Software Onto Unopened iPhones ☇

Shared on October 16, 2023

Mark Gurman for Bloomberg:

When a customer buys a new iPhone from an Apple retail store, the device sometimes comes with outdated software. For instance, the first iPhone 15 models out of the factory shipped with iOS 17, but iOS 17.0.1 was already available by the time the devices were available for purchase. Buying a new iPhone without the latest software isn’t ideal, especially if there are some high-profile bugs. But that situation is about to change.

Apple is planning a new system for its retail stores that will update the software on iPhones prior to sale. The company has developed a proprietary pad-like device that the store can place boxes of iPhones on top of. That system can then wirelessly turn on the iPhone, update its software and then power it back down — all without the phone’s packaging ever being opened. The company aims to begin rolling this out to its stores before the end of the year.

This seems like a really fascinating tool and process—I’d love to see the technical details of it once implemented. Considering most iPhones attempt to update during the setup process and automatically power on when a power source is attached, I’m guessing much of this is already in place. Perhaps there’s also an auto-shut-off if an iPhone is sitting at the “hello” screen for too long?

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