Gurman: Apple Is Readying System to Apply Software Updates to Still-in-Box iPhones

Mark Gurman, in his weekly Power On column 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When a customer buys a new iPhone from an Apple retail store, the device sometimes comes with outdated software.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.

Fascinating idea, but I have so many questions. What exactly is the trigger here? Something related to MagSafe? When the system is put into place, will it work with existing still-in-the-box iPhones or will it only work with new units, that ship from the factory running iOS 17.2 or whatever? Will the same system eventually come to other products, like iPads and Apple Watches? Maybe even Macs?

Wednesday, 18 October 2023