Apple is about to roll out a big change to its retail stores in the United States: “Presto within Apple.” This system will let Apple Store employees wirelessly update iPhone software while the phone is still in the box, using a pad-like device. Here’s how it works.

In the latest edition of his Power On newsletterBloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports that this new system will begin widely rolling out to Apple Stores in the United States in April, reaching all US stores by “early summer.” The process has been in testing at select Apple Stores since the end of 2023.

Gurman first reported on this system last October, and 9to5Mac subsequently found evidence of the feature in iOS 17.2. The technology centers around a “pad-like device that the store can place boxes of iPhones on top of.” The system is able to power on the iPhones, update their software, then power them back down, all while the phones stay in their boxes.

In today’s edition of Power On, Gurman writes:

The system looks a bit like a metal cubby for shoes. It can use MagSafe and other wireless technologies to power up the iPhone without ever cracking open the packaging. It downloads and installs new software and then powers the phone back down.

This change will mean that people who buy new iPhones from Apple Stores likely won’t have to immediately update their device after taking it out of the box. Instead, the Apple Store will be able to update the devices as new iOS versions are released.

As it stands now, iPhones are shipped from the factory with whatever build of iOS was available at that time. This means millions of iPhones out there ship with iOS versions that are multiple updates old by the time that phone arrives to the customer.

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