Apple Stores Could Stop Thieves With New Security Measures

Apple is exploring new security measures for Apple retail stores in an attempt to discourage and prevent smash-and-grab robberies.

apple store security patent
In a patent titled "Product-Display System" filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, spotted by Patently Apple, Apple details a number of mechanical systems for securing iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches.

The proposal effectively involves fixing a "retainer body" and "display stem" to the large tables in Apple Stores that feature a "retainer bracket" to hold devices. Some devices may feature a retractable "retaining cable" attached to the bracket to provide power and allow customers to pick up devices. Magnets placed on the top of the display stem ensure that the device returns to a predetermined position.

apple store security patent 2
To maintain security and be more aesthetically pleasing, "no fasteners of the retainer may be visible or accessible" in the mounting system. The stems and brackets are considerably more heavy-duty than the tethers currently used to secure devices in Apple Stores, and are intended to make it much harder for thieves to detach devices, thereby discouraging robbery attempts.

Apple has experimented with removing security tethers in some of its stores, but the company has been subject to a large number of smash and grab robberies in recent years. The patent is not a confirmation that Apple will implement the bulky security retainers in its retail stores, but it remains a possibility given the solution is fully developed. Apple devices already automatically enter a lost mode when they are stolen from a store, rendering the device useless, but the filing indicates that more basic robbery prevention is still an ongoing area of research for the company.


Update: Apple store aficionado Michael Steeber has noted on Twitter that the mounting system outlined in this patent is already used by a number of Apple retail partners and authorized resellers:

Top Rated Comments

canyonblue737 Avatar
8 months ago
i was in a large apple store in a fancy town in the suburbs of chicago about a year ago with my entire family looking at the various colors of iphone 12 at the display table. while holding a display phone and showing my teens every OTHER iphone at our same table was simultaneously cut from its tether by a group of young people who then bolted from the store. i was so involved i didn't see it happen until my kids pointed them out already running from the store (we were the table closest to the door.) the manager slowly came over, shrugged, then told us this "happens all the time" and he just slowly walked to the back of the store I assume to call the police. crazy.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jonnysods Avatar
8 months ago
Just do what they did in Robocop 2. Won't even run down your battery!

Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LogicalApex Avatar
8 months ago

Aren't those devises locked into "Store Mode" so its pretty much useless to steal.
Probably depends on how they are offloaded. Useless as a usable device, but probably valuable in the part salvage space since it is a source of genuine apple parts.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cww5336 Avatar
8 months ago
Aren't those devises locked into "Store Mode" so its pretty much useless to steal.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jayducharme Avatar
8 months ago
Can't they use AirTags? ;)
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ZMacintosh Avatar
8 months ago
more criminal enforcement on people who do this, not making it worse for people coming in without the intent to damage or steal. or create more dummy phones and build in the security mechanisms into the hardware and software. if I wanted to test an Apple product locked with some physical piece, thats what every other electronic retailer is for.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

apple amsterdam

Hostage Situation Reported at Apple Store in Amsterdam [Updated]

Tuesday February 22, 2022 10:04 am PST by
Police officers are surrounding Apple Amsterdam in Leidseplein following reports that a gunman entered the store. A video shared on Twitter showed a man in a balaclava holding a gun while gripping a possible hostage, and Amsterdam police have confirmed that there is indeed a hostage situation. People in surrounding buildings have been ordered to stay indoors, and the area around the store...
PMClogonewer

Apple Won't Have to Pay $309M After Judge Accuses Patent Troll of Abusing System to Fleece Tech Companies

Friday August 6, 2021 11:10 am PDT by
Apple today scored a victory in an ongoing patent dispute with Personalized Media Communications (PMC), with the judge overseeing the case tossing out the $308.5 million verdict that Personalized Media Communications won in March, reports Bloomberg. Apple was a victim of PMC's plan to milk the tech industry for high royalties on old ideas, U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap said when...
vanarama apple car concept

British Car Leasing Company Creates 'Apple Car' 3D Render Based on Patents

Friday December 10, 2021 4:29 am PST by
British vehicle leasing company Vanarama has taken a stab at imagining what the first Apple Car could look like, taking inspiration from iPhones, MacBooks, and other Apple products, and combining them with real Apple patents to come up with a 3D concept render that can be explored inside and out. Given that Apple remains tight-lipped about its electric self-driving car plans, the concept is ...
iphone 5g mmwave

Ericsson Sues Apple Again Over 5G Patent Licensing Infringements

Tuesday January 18, 2022 5:11 am PST by
Telecom giant Ericsson has filed another set of patent infringement lawsuits against Apple in a long-running dispute between the two companies over royalty payments for the use of 5G wireless patents in iPhones. In 2021, both companies sued each other in the US after negotiations failed over the renewal of a seven-year licensing contract for telecom patents covering 2G, 3G, and 4G...
iOS App Store General Feature JoeBlue

Ukraine Asks Apple to Stop Product Sales and Block App Store Access in Russia

Friday February 25, 2022 3:19 pm PST by
Ukrainian vice prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov today wrote a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook calling on Apple to stop device sales and block App Store access in Russia. In the letter, Fedorov says that he is asking for Apple's support to stop supplying Apple services and products to users in Russia amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.I appeal to you and I am sure you will not only hear, but...
apple glass enclosures patent main

Apple Researching All-Glass iPhone and Apple Watch Designs

Thursday November 18, 2021 8:55 am PST by
Apple has furthered its research on devices with all-glass enclosures, a newly granted patent filing shows. The patent, first spotted by Patently Apple, is titled "Electronic device with glass enclosure" and was granted to Apple by the United States Patent and Trademark Office earlier today. The research focuses on electronic devices with six-sided glass enclosures and glass casings that...
vissles lp85 keyboard6

Apple Imagines Mac-Inside-a-Keyboard Device Evocative of 80s Home Computers

Friday February 25, 2022 4:59 am PST by
Apple is exploring the possibility of integrating a fully functioning Mac within a keyboard, reminiscent of home computers of the 80s, such as the Commodore 64 and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Image credit: Vissles The concept was revealed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in a new Apple patent application called "Computer in an input device," which describes a thicker Magic Keyboard-style...
studio display stand

Apple Stores Can Upgrade a Studio Display's Stand After Purchase

Monday March 21, 2022 9:26 am PDT by
While fine print on Apple's website says Studio Display stands and VESA mount adapters are "not interchangeable," customers can visit an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider to have their Studio Display reconfigured after purchase. For example, if a customer bought a Studio Display with the standard tilt-adjustable stand and later decides they want to use a VESA mount adapter,...

Popular Stories

airpods pro black background

AirPods Pro 2: Five New Features and Improvements to Expect

Sunday August 14, 2022 3:28 pm PDT by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro are finally nearing launch, with a release expected later this year. If you are considering upgrading to the new AirPods Pro once they are released, keep reading for a list of five new features to expect. In addition to all-new features, the second-generation AirPods Pro will likely adopt some features added to the standard AirPods last year. H2 Chip ...
iPhone 14 Dummies 1 Feature

Everything Rumored for Apple's September Event: iPhone 14, Apple Watch Pro and More

Friday August 12, 2022 2:34 pm PDT by
There's just about a month to go until Apple holds its annual September event focusing on new iPhone and Apple Watch models. We thought we'd take a quick look at everything that's rumored for Apple's September event to give MacRumors readers a rundown on what to expect when the first fall event rolls around. iPhone 14 The iPhone 14 can probably be described more as an "iPhone 13S" because...
10th Generation iPad Render

10th-Generation iPad With Major Design Changes Reportedly in Production Ahead of September Launch

Monday August 15, 2022 8:02 pm PDT by
Apple's rumored 10th-generation iPad is currently in production and will feature "major" design changes, according to a report from Taiwanese website DigiTimes. A mockup of the potential 10th-generation iPad design by Renders By Shailesh The report did not provide any specific details about the 10th-generation iPad's new design, but rumors suggest the device will feature a larger 10.5-inch...
ios 16 lock screen feature2

Apple Seeds Sixth Betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Monday August 15, 2022 10:04 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the sixth betas of upcoming iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the updates coming a week after Apple released the fifth developer betas. Registered developers can download the iOS and iPadOS 16 profiles from the Apple Developer Center, and once installed, the betas will be available over the air. iOS 16 introduces a revamped Lock...
apple watch se

Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series 8: New Features to Expect If You've Waited to Upgrade

Monday August 15, 2022 2:44 am PDT by
The Apple Watch SE was announced in September 2020 and has been a popular Apple Watch model for customers looking for their first smartwatch or an affordable Apple Watch. Apple Watch SE customers may be wondering, however, what's in store for them with the upcoming Apple Watch Series 8 and what new features they can expect. Continue reading to find out. Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series ...
odyssey ark 1

Samsung Launches $3,500 'Odyssey Ark' 55-Inch Curved Gaming Display

Monday August 15, 2022 7:15 am PDT by
Samsung today announced the launch of the Odyssey Ark, which the company says is the world's first 55-inch 4K curved display with a 165Hz refresh rate for improved gaming performance. Samsung first previewed the monitor at CES, but it is now available to order. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Priced at $3,500, the Samsung Odyssey Ark features mini-LED technology...
top stories 13aug2022

Top Stories: New Battery Percentage Icon in iOS 16, USB-C AirPods Rumor, and More

Saturday August 13, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
This week brought some shocking news for iOS 16 beta testers, with Apple bringing back the iPhone battery percentage to the status bar after a number of years. Other news and rumors this week included word that Apple has started recording portions of its media event planned for next month to introduce the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8, claims about iPhone 14 Pro pricing and Apple's...