Apple finds way to update iPhones still in boxes but opens can of worms

smartphone sales south africa q1 2018 iphone xavier wendling unsplash

Apple ingenuity

Apple has come up with a brilliant strategy to update iPhones still in packages without ever breaking the seal.

Customers are often met by uncalled-for software updates when purchasing a new device, after switching it on from the box.

Apple has come up with a reliable way to update its fleet of newer smartphones without ever opening the box.  The incoming system will update unopened smartphones while they’re still in the Apple store.

The iPhone 15 also falls part of the shift forward.

The pad-like device can be placed on top of unopened iPhone boxes and will trigger an update.

The so-called pad will wirelessly turn on the iPhone to run the software update before it turns the device off again.

This was in a report that noted how Mark Gurman claimed that Apple had a system that would most likely update the operating system of iPhones before they were sold.  All this done without even breaking the seal.

The unsaid fact

While Apple’s innovative step forward for efficiency is welcomed, one simple fact that cannot be ignored is that a device is never really off, even when it has been shut down.

The idea for updates is a remarkable step forward in technology, one that sadly unearths a speculated reality that devices never really turn off completely.

Do they turn off completely?

Smartphones have a power-off or shutdown option that is intended to allow the user to stop any activity the device might ave initiated.

The shutdown function allows the phone’s operating system to shut down all running processes.

This however does not mean the device is out cold.  The device goes into a low power state, effectively turning off, but still maintains essential functions like battery monitoring and alarm clocks.

It seems the ability to switch on remotely raises eyebrows, when we look at Apple’s latest “pad” for software updates.

The device must receive a prompt to switch on, a prompt to run an update, and a prompt to shut down, as cool as this sounds it is also a little spooky considering the device can be operated even without touching it.

Certain other questions emerge such as can this pad-like device operate if the device is in a user’s pocket for other ulterior motives?

What Shut down/ Power off ideally means

When users power off their devices, the screen goes dark, meaning calls, and messages cannot come through until the user turns the device back on.

Features such as airplane mode allow users to give the impression of an off-device while retaining the device’s functions, however, in 2023, an off-device is not entirely off.

There was once a solution which was to take the battery out completely but in this era of smartphones, taking out the battery is almost as challenging as replacing a shattered screen.

Today’s smartphones come with modern sealed battery compartments, which makes it a challenge to access the battery.

Factoring in a famous Will Smith starred political action thriller movie Enemy of the State, it would be very hard to stop someone from tracking you without disposing of the device entirely.

Also read: The road to the 6G mobile network, is SA still in the back seat?



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