Apple Readying In-Box iPhone Software Update System for Retail Stores

Apple is set to roll out a new system that allows retail store staff to wirelessly update the software on iPhones prior to sale, without having to take them out of their packaging.

Apple Store Vancouver Canada
Writing in the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said the new proprietary system, called "Presto," relies on MagSafe and other wireless technologies, and "looks a bit like a metal cubby for shoes." It will begin rolling out widely across the U.S. in April, with Apple's intention to have the technology in all U.S. retail stores by early summer, he added.

Gurman first reported on the wireless system in October, describing it as a "proprietary pad-like device" on which retail store staff can place a sealed ‌iPhone‌ box. The system wirelessly turns on the iPhone inside, updates its software to the latest version available, and then powers it off.

Apple developed "Presto" as a way to avoid selling iPhones in retail stores with outdated software. For example, the iPhone 15 series shipped with iOS 17, but Apple subsequently released iOS 17.0.1 before the devices launched. The point update was required to fix an issue that prevented the transfer of data directly from another iPhone during the initial setup process.

That meant new iPhone 15 owners had to update the devices themselves as part of the setup process, or manually via the Settings app under General → Software Update if they opted to set up the device as new and transfer data later. Following the rollout of "Presto," such a scenario will be avoidable, making the setup process more straightforward for end users.

Top Rated Comments

NinjaHERO Avatar
3 weeks ago
So they can turn a phone on from a distance. While a great idea for updates, I definitely wonder what dangers this ability opens up.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jchap Avatar
3 weeks ago
Wonder if this uses a combination of NFC technology and the connection used for wireless charging. Perhaps the phone would have to be powered on by a magnetic source, since it can't always be on inside of the package...

The fact that Apple is allowing iPhones to be powered on from a near-field source and flash-updated is a little concerning from a security point of view.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sw1tcher Avatar
3 weeks ago

Gurman first reported on the wireless system in October, describing it as a "proprietary pad-like device" on which retail store staff can place a sealed ‌iPhone‌ box. The system wirelessly turns on the iPhone inside, updates its software to the latest version available, and then powers it off.

So they can turn a phone on from a distance. While a great idea for updates, I definitely wonder what dangers this ability opens up.
Having to place an iPhone on a pad-like device to turn it on and update it isn't the same as turning it on and updating it "from a distance"
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
boswald Avatar
3 weeks ago
This is a great idea. Resolving major or “controversial” issues before they get into customers hands is a great thing.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
milkrocket Avatar
3 weeks ago
This sounds like a security nightmare. Being able to remotely power on a device and load firmware on it maybe safe for now until the bootloader is compromised or Apple's signing keys get leaked. But once that is done, this sounds like a disaster waiting to happen
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kissmo1980 Avatar
3 weeks ago
Somehow I smell some security hole in this concept.
It does not smell good....

???
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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