Apple Working on Local Backup Servers for iOS Devices Needing Genius Bar Replacement?

9to5Mac reports that Apple is working on a new hardware solution for its retail store Genius Bars that would allow staff to quickly back up devices requiring replacement and move that data back onto the the replacement devices. While users are always encouraged to back up their devices before bringing them to a Genius Bar appointment, users who fail to do so and then learn that their devices require replacement can lose valuable data.

genius bar banner
According to the report, the systems would essentially be a local wireless backup system capable of quickly obtaining an iCloud backup from a device and temporarily storing it while the device is swapped out for the user. Once the replacement device is powered on and activated if necessary, Genius Bar staff would be able to quickly pull that data onto the new device to provide the user with a fully-updated and functional replacement device.

A user brings in their iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch to the Genius Bar to be swapped for a fully working unit. The person didn’t back up their device. Now, instead of having to conduct an iCloud wireless backup or go home for a tethered iTunes backup, the Genius Bar will have the ability to mirror an iCloud backup, but onto a local store server. After the device is swapped, the Genius can pull the content right back from the server onto the new device. The content is then automatically wiped from the store server.

While users could presumably use their existing iCloud accounts and Apple's in-store Wi-Fi access to accomplish similar backups in the event that device replacement is needed, the local systems are said to operate more efficiently and can assist users who have not signed up for iCloud accounts.

The report's source indicates that the project is still in the early prototyping phase and may not ever be released, but if Apple does decide to bring it into the field it may begin appearing in retail stores in mid-2013.

Top Rated Comments

jayhawk11 Avatar
124 months ago
I guess it's safe to give them all your private info...:confused:

No different than handing over your MacBook Pro for a repair.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hchung Avatar
124 months ago
Wouldn't it be more practical for Apple to use Thunderbolt to transfer what is potentially 100's of GB's (or maybe even 2 TB's) of info from a users computer to their servers and then back again after the computer has been formatted and MAC OS reinstalled?

Transferring that much data over WI-Fi is going to take a long, long time.

According to the post, it's for iOS devices, not Macs.

(Asking for Thunderbolt on an iOS device is a dumb idea for other reasons, for at least the next 2 years.)
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OriginalMacRat Avatar
124 months ago
Wouldn't it be more practical for Apple to use Thunderbolt to transfer what is potentially 100's of GB's (or maybe even 2 TB's)

You have a 100GB iPhone? :D
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jayse Avatar
124 months ago
Long overdue in my opinion. Less of a headache for the average/below average user who may struggle doing it themselves
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Detrias Avatar
124 months ago
But… iTunes backs up your entire iOS device every single time you plug it in… What's the point? There's no way anyone doesn't back up their iOS device, unless they don't own a computer, in which case they weren't able to use their iOS device anyway.

U can use an iOS device without a computer since iOS 5
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Beligerent Avatar
124 months ago
Having been an employee at an AT&T store I can tell you that many times customers would come in and have no idea that they were supposed to connect their iPhones to iTunes. They would be exchanging their phones and Id say "You backed this up to iTunes correct? So that your pictures and music are now on your computer right?" and I'd get a blank stare and a "no one ever told me I had to do that"
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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