New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

Apple Stores Removing Security Tethers From iPhone Display Models

Apple revamped its retail stores last year by removing iPad smart signage and demoting iPod display models to side shelves, and now the company has another move up its sleeves in a push towards simplicity.

iphone-security-tethers-removed
iPhone display models docked with only Lightning charging cables in Toronto

Over the past few months, Apple has removed security tethers from iPhone display models at some of its retail stores, including its Yorkdale location in Toronto, Canada and redesigned Regent Street store in London, England.

MacRumors has learned of at least two other stores in the United Kingdom where the security tethers, which activate audible alarms when disconnected, have been removed, and it appears likely the change will be phased in at other locations.

The courageous move effectively allows customers to walk into an Apple retail store, pick up an iPhone display model, and walk out with the device without paying, but Apple evidently feels the untethered experience is worth the risk.

tethered-iphone-7
iPhone display models with security tethers (Image: Mirror.co.uk)

As CNET explains, Apple wants customers to be able to hold an iPhone properly, try out cases, and even pocket the device:
Apple says this is to allow people to hold them properly, try cases on them and even see how they feel in your pocket. It's a bold move, especially given the lack of visible security in the building. We couldn't spot a single CCTV camera, although any phone taken out of the store will set off an alarm. If not returned, the phones will also be rendered unusable.
The customers who do attempt to steal iPhone display models, if not caught by security or CCTV cameras where installed, will walk away with unusable devices, as Apple will place them into Lost Mode remotely using Find My iPhone.

Apple continues to use security tethers on larger products such as MacBook and iPad display models.

(Thanks, Peter!)




Top Rated Comments

(View all)

19 weeks ago
Instead they will explode like a Note 7 if you take them out of the store.
Rating: 77 Votes
19 weeks ago
They should have a self destruct feature. Or did Samsung patent that?
Rating: 47 Votes
19 weeks ago
Don't take one past the great seal!
Rating: 44 Votes
19 weeks ago
Good luck trying to steal those. You'll have a dead phone by nightfall.
Rating: 31 Votes
19 weeks ago
Apple has now made it easier to steal their iPhones from their stores!

Edit: (Note to self: Always read the entire article before commenting.)
Rating: 23 Votes
19 weeks ago

The courageous move effectively allows customers to walk into an Apple retail store, pick up an iPhone display model, and walk out with the device without paying, but Apple evidently feels the untethered experience is worth the risk.


Gosh! So much courage lately. But no amount of courage on Apple's part can match the courage of people who bought the Galaxy Note 7. ..
Rating: 21 Votes
19 weeks ago
Kudos to Apple for essentially making a phone that is completely worthless to a thief!
Rating: 20 Votes
19 weeks ago

Yes I always thought it was a demo version of iOS rather than the proper thing.

Maybe they now have an kernel service running that checks the location and when it moves more than 50 meters, it turns into a Note 7 from Samsung.
Rating: 10 Votes
19 weeks ago
Those security wires always get so messy and tangled. Looked so annoying for employees who would go around and neatly spool up the wire and tuck it below over and over.
Rating: 10 Votes
19 weeks ago
Looks like they don't want to go through the trouble of removing those tethers from smashed phones.[MEDIA=youtube]wFUlz_BTby8[/MEDIA]
Rating: 10 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]