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Box fresh iPhones – Apple invents in-the-box iOS updates

According to the latest reports from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple has developed a method to install a software update on a sealed iPhone still in its box.

Doing so would be more convenient for users and offer added protections, too.

Though the latest iPhone 15 models were packaged up with iOS 17, by the time they reached the hands of the public, iOS 17.0.1 had already been released with important security updates. Fast forward a couple of weeks and Apple has patched even more vulnerabilities, bringing us up to iOS 17.0.3 – and yet those boxed iPhones in store remain on the earlier version. That means users have to wait for a lengthy update to download and install during setup, extending the time it takes before they can use their new device.

Apple’s new technology means Apple Store employees can keep boxed stock up to date, ensuring all devices ship with the latest version of iOS, no matter how long they sit on store shelves. Gurman explains:

“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.”

Apple is said to start using this technology before the end of the year, though it may take longer to roll it out worldwide.