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Apple Stores to Update iPhone Units without Unboxing

Those who aren’t phone nerds (a badge I proudly wear on my sleeve) might not even think twice about this, but once you have purchased a new iPhone and have it set up, the first thing you should do is check for a software update. For example, this year Apple released iOS 17.0.1 before it started to ship the iPhone 15 series. While it wasn’t the case this year, should a serious bug require a patch be sent out before a new iPhone series is shipped, those receiving the phone might not think about checking to see if their device shipped with an update.

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman in his weekly Power On newsletter, Apple is developing a system that will allow it to update iPhone units in Apple Stores without having an employee open each box and manually update each phone. The technology involves the use of a proprietary pad that boxes of iPhones are placed on top of. The pad will wirelessly turn on the iPhone units stacked on top of it, update iOS, and power down the phones all without disturbing the packaging.

This isn’t some pie in the sky plan for a few years from now as Apple plans to start shipping the pads to Apple Stores before the end of the year. It isn’t clear whether Apple will eventually allow the technology to be used by its carrier partners to update the iPhone inventory in those stores.

If you have just purchased an iPhone for the first time, you can update your phone by going to Settings > General > Software Update. Follow the directions on the screen to download and install the update. It will be interesting to see whether manufacturers of Android phones come up with a similar technology that will allow buyers of Android handsets to run the latest build of Android on a new phone without having to worry about checking for the latest update.

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