There’s an interesting tidbit in Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman’s latest Power On newsletter. Apparently Apple is looking at a way of making the iPhone setup procedure easier, by performing iOS software updates before handsets leave the store, all without opening the box.
In what sounds like the world’s nerdiest magic trick — a high bar to clear — Gurman reports that Apple has “developed a proprietary pad-like device” that will be available to Apple Stores. Employees simply pile a box of unopened iPhones on top of it, and the system can “wirelessly turn on the iPhone, update its software and then power it back down.”
Yes, it’ll probably mean there are a few less collectors’ items in a few years, but that’s a sacrifice worth making for sure.
While it’ll reportedly roll out to stores “before the end of the year”, Apple could have done with this technology in place a few weeks ago.
This year, one of the traditional annual hiccups of the iPhone release schedule was a bug that prevented upgraders from transferring their settings across from their old handsets. It led to a boot loop that required — you guessed it — a software update. But to get iOS 17.0.2, users would have to do a reset connected to a PC or Mac, which isn’t exactly a user-friendly experience.
Elsewhere in the newsletter, Gurman also pours some cold water on the idea that Apple will be updating its iPad, iPad Air and iPad mini this month. So maybe November, but once again he suggests you lower your expectations, as he anticipates that any release will be a minimal update ahead of the big iPad Pro update next year.
It also sounds like those updated Macs aren’t just around the corner either. Gurman says that 14 and 16in MacBook Pros with their M3 Pro and Max chips have reached the DVT stage, meaning they’re nearly at mass production with a possible release before spring 2024.
The regular M3-toting MacBook Airs are even further away, with Gurman saying they’ve only just reached the EVT stage. In other words, they’re pegged “for between spring and summer of next year at the earliest”.