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

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Rear Flat MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Predicted to Start With Increased 256GB Storage Alongside Rumored Price Increase

Wednesday August 10, 2022 11:14 am PDT by
Earlier today, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed iPhone 14 Pro models will be more expensive than iPhone 13 Pro models. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing, but he said that the average selling price of all four iPhone 14 models will increase by about 15% overall. While higher prices would be disappointing for customers, it is possible the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will offer increased...
iOS 16 battery percentage

Apple Limiting iOS 16 Beta 5 Battery Percentage Display to Select iPhones: Here Are the Supported Devices

Tuesday August 9, 2022 2:51 am PDT by
Apple this week brought back one of the most highly requested features from iOS users since the launch of the iPhone X in 2017: the ability to see your battery percentage directly in the status bar. Ever since the launch of the iPhone X with the notch, Apple has not allowed users to show their battery percentage directly in the status bar, forcing them to swipe down into Control Center to...
iPhone 14 Pro Lineup Feature Silver

Kuo: Apple to Increase Prices of iPhone 14 Pro Models

Wednesday August 10, 2022 8:22 am PDT by
Apple plans to increase the prices of iPhone 14 Pro models compared to iPhone 13 Pro models, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing for the iPhone 14 Pro models. However, in a tweet today, he estimated that the average selling price of the iPhone 14 lineup as a whole will increase by about 15% compared to the iPhone 13 lineup. In the United States, the iPhone...
ios 16 beta 5 battery percent

iOS 16 Beta 5: Battery Percentage Now Displayed in iPhone Status Bar

Monday August 8, 2022 10:43 am PDT by
With the fifth beta of iOS 16, Apple has updated the battery icon on iPhones with Face ID to display the specific battery percentage rather than just a visual representation of battery level. The new battery indicator is available on iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models, with the exception of the 5.4-inch iPhone 12/13 mini. It is also available on the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, XS and XS Max, and...
battery percentage ios 16

Here's Why the iPhone Battery Status Icon in iOS 16 Is So Controversial

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:34 am PDT by
In the latest iOS 16 beta, Apple has updated the status bar battery icon on iPhones with Face ID to display the exact percentage remaining rather than just a visual representation of battery level, and while the change has been largely welcomed, some users are unhappy with the way it has been implemented. In iOS 15 and earlier, battery percent has not been present on iPhones that have...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive feature

iPhone 14 Is Just a Few Weeks Away: Three Tips to Prepare for the New iPhone

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:08 am PDT by
The launch of the new iPhone 14 is just a few weeks away, meaning millions of iPhone customers will soon upgrade their existing iPhone or perhaps get an iPhone for the first time. Exclusive MacRumors iPhone 14 Pro renders by graphic designer Ian Zelbo Whether upgrading from an older model or this is your first iPhone, we've rounded up a few tips to help you prepare for the next flagship...
iPhone 14 Lineup Feature Purple

Color Options for All iPhone 14 Models: Everything We Know

Monday August 8, 2022 3:59 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models are rumored to be available in a refreshed range of color options, including an all-new purple color. Most expectations about the iPhone 14 lineup's color options come from an unverified post on Chinese social media site Weibo earlier this year. Overall, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro's selection of color options could look fairly similar to those of the ...