Apple plans a nifty trick to keep your new iPhone iOS up-to-date

Will update new iPhones in store while still in their boxes

Apple Store
(Image credit: Apple)

You know that thing were you get your swanky, new iPhone home and the first thing you're faced with is a lengthy iOS update, well that could soon be no more. Apple has plans to keep new, unpurchased iPhones up-to-date without needing to open the packaging,

It will reportedly install a new system in Apple Stores around the world that can wirelessly install updates on a factory sealed iPhone, that way they will not only have the latest major iOS release, but all current security fixes and patched.

The technology could even be ready to work on the current iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro handsets, so your next Apple purchase might be able to start up from the box, without you having to download firmware.

Apple expert and Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman wrote in his latest PowerOn newsletter that the system uses a "pad-like device" that Apple Store workers place unopened iPhone boxes on top of. It then powers-up each device, installs the latest patch, and then powers them down again.

He also claims that it will start to roll out the technology into its store before the end of this year. 

The thing about iOS updates

The iPhone 15 family of phones launched on 12 September 2023 and hit stores 10 days later.

The 15 Pro models in particular were found to have a thermal issue where certain iOS 17 functions could make them overheat. This was fixable through an iOS 17 patch, but it meant that anyone buying one in the last few weeks needed to update their phones almost immediately.

In fact, there have been three iOS updates since iOS 17 itself launched on 18 September. New iPhone 15 owners were already faced with having to download iOS 17.0.1 when they got home. We're now on iOS 17.0.3.

By updating the iPhone automatically in store before you purchase it is a good way to remove one pain barrier – and allow you to enjoy your new device immediately.

Unless you have 100s of gigs of images store in iCloud, of course. Oh, and there's the WhatsApp backup we always forget about. And all our Netflix downloads. And... well, at least Apple is going to be doing its part in future.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.