iOS 17.2 has a system to update sealed iPhones at Apple Stores

Earlier this month, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman reported that Apple has been developing a new system that will allow its employees to install software updates on sealed iPhones without taking them out of the box. With the release of the first iOS 17.2 beta to developers on Thursday, 9to5Mac was able to confirm the existence of this system.

Apple can now wirelessly update sealed iPhones

According to Gurman, the new system is being developed so that Apple can wirelessly update sealed iPhones to deliver them to customers with the latest software available. The company reportedly decided to invest in this system after being forced to release a day-one update for iPhone 15 models to fix a major bug during setup.

Interestingly, the iOS 17.2 beta SDK that comes with the latest Xcode 15.1 beta pretty much corroborates this report. There are three new internal frameworks named FactoryOTALogger, FactoryOTANetworkUtils, and FactoryOTAWifiUtils that enable wireless OTA firmware updates by using a special external device.

This is in line with what Gurman reported, as the journalist described the system as a “proprietary pad-like device that the store can place boxes of iPhones on top of.” The feature is not intended for end users and is clearly marked as internal in the codes seen by 9to5Mac. In the future, this will allow Apple to avoid major day-one bugs by installing iOS updates on sealed iPhones.

This system could also be useful in helping Apple to restore the firmware of iOS devices without the need for a cable. In recent years, Apple has been working on new technologies to help users restore devices such as the Apple Watch and Apple TV when they get stuck since these devices can’t be connected to a computer.

How to restore Apple Watch with iPhone

More about iOS 17.2

iOS 17.2 brings some new features for Apple Music subscribers, such as collaborative playlists and a new “Favorites” playlist that is automatically generated based on the songs you’ve marked as favorites. In addition, the update comes with the Journal app, a new Translate option for the Action Button, and some new Home Screen widgets.

The update is now available as a beta to developers and is expected to be released to the public by the end of the year.

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