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Apple is pushing for a new system that will allow it to update iPhones in Apple Stores without taking them out of their boxes. That is affirmed by the codes included in the recently released iOS 17.2 Developer Beta 1, suggesting that the company could release it before the end of 2023.

The news about the system was first shared by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who said that the system will be complemented by an external device that Apple can use to perform the update.

“The company has developed a proprietary pad-like device that the store can place boxes of iPhones on top of,” Gurman revealed last week. “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.”

The idea behind the new system is to update the sealed iPhones before selling them to customers. And as it appears, Apple is trying to prevent the same issue it encountered in iOS 17-ready iPhone 15 units it started selling in September.

To recall, the Cupertino giant had to offer a new update immediately as soon as the latest Apple smartphones hit the stores due to a bug. Specifically, the issue prevented the new iPhone 15 owners from successfully transferring their data to the new unit from their old iPhones. After that, it was followed by the overheating issue in the iPhone 15, which Apple claimed was another bug. This was also followed by another update.

Needless to say, having bug-infested units fresh from the stores isn’t something that will help with the appeal of the new series Apple is selling. And with the sales status of the new line, Apple is obviously in need of a way to address that. Website 9To5Mac says in a recent report that the company is now working on it, as shown in the codes in iOS 17.2 Beta 1.

Interestingly, the iOS 17.2 beta SDK that comes with the latest Xcode 15.1 beta pretty much corroborates this report. There are three new internal frameworks named FactoryOTALogger, FactoryOTANetworkUtils, and FactoryOTAWifiUtils that enable wireless OTA firmware updates by using a special external device.

In case the system is implemented this year, it means Apple will be able to always offer customers updated iPhone units in the future. It is unknown if this will also be implemented in Macs and other Apple devices, but it is not far from possible.


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