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Apple is removing the iPhone security tethers in some of its stores

By midian182
Oct 18, 2016
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  1. If you’ve ever been in an Apple store that's really crowded - and most of them usually are - you’ll probably know how annoying it can be when trying out a tethered iPhone. The security measure may stop the devices from being stolen, but it also means people crowding around you, not being able to get a feel for the handset, and not finding out how well it fits in your pocket. But things are about to change.

    In a recent CNET report by Katie Collins on Apple’s flagship London Regent Street store, it was revealed that no security tethers would be used to secure the products on show. A small number of other stores across the UK and Canada are also in the process of removing the cords.

    The company tried this in its stores a few years ago, but an increase in thefts saw the tethers return. But the new system means that even if anyone does manage to sneak one of the handsets out of the store without staff or the hidden CCTV cameras noticing, it would be unusable.

    9to5Mac reports that the demo phones have a ‘kill-switch’ that disables them when they go out of range of the store’s Wi-Fi.

    The iPhone will reset when the device is powered off and then plugged in. When removed from the Apple Store, the stolen iPhone can’t do anything but ring for Find My iPhone until the battery dies. The iPhones are also Activation Locked using iCloud as a deterrent just like customer iPhones.

    Other Apple products such as iPads and MacBooks will continue to be tethered to the desks, as these larger devices benefit from testing on a stable surface.

    Apple hasn’t commented on the new scheme, or whether there are any plans for bringing it to the US. But you can expect it to arrive in the states if it proves successful elsewhere.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. alabama man

    alabama man TS Maniac Posts: 216   +127

    Even if it's "unusable" couldn't you sell it for parts? What parts do you need to hack/change to make it work again, would that be possible?
     
  3. Chris Hanson

    Chris Hanson TS Rookie

    Sweet!! Open season for crooks! They should put a sign in fron tof these stores - " Crooks welcome".
     
  4. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 910   +387

    Cool! Now instead of automobiles, we'll have "chop shops" for Apple products LOL.
     
  5. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke TS Guru Posts: 930   +354

    Even if they were empty cases with bogus screens, and only the same size and weight and look they'd still get stolen LOL
     
  6. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,505   +2,054

    Does this mean that Apple are now going to employ burly security guards at their stores to give all shoppers a full body cavity search as they try exit? I wouldn't put anything past them.
     
  7. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Guru Posts: 866   +276

    Was at the Apple Store this weekend actually, to figure out why my iPhone wasn't charging (turns out, a toothbrush worked to fix it!), and my wife commented that all the iPhones weren't tethered to anything... I was like "they must have some sort of system in place to prevent theft..."

    Interesting that all it is, is an activation lock/kill switch... I assumed they had some sort of software that detected their removal from the store or that there was some other system in place to guard them...

    Good thing my iPhone 6+ works now, or I'd have been tempted to go back and liberate an iPhone 7....
     
  8. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Maniac Posts: 817   +231

    Selling an iCloud locked iPhone isn't hard, you can usually find them on Craigslist. An iPhone is an iPhone and many will buy them in the hopes that they can unlock it and use it so this won't stop the theft just lower the price they are sold for a little bit.
     
  9. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke TS Guru Posts: 930   +354

    They are relying on their 'Geniuses'
     

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