Forget the update headache – Apple stores could soon see all iPhones pre-loaded with the latest software

iPhone 13 first time set up
(Image credit: Future / James Ide)

Apple looks set to implement a system that updates the software of brand-new iPhones before they’ve even been taken out of the box, removing the headache of lengthy iOS updates.

Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman, via his Power On newsletter, claims the new system is called ‘Presto within Apple’ and will ensure that iPhones are equipped with the latest iOS version by wirelessly updating the phone while they're still on store shelves.

Potentially, every new iPhone bought from the Apple store could come straight out of the box with the up-to-date software, saving the hassle and time needed to update the phone OS to its latest version on the first setup.

Gurman claims this new feature will start rolling out in US stores in April and will be available in all US stores by early summer this year. According to Gurman, Apple began testing the update at select stores at the end of 2023.

Gurman describes Apple stores with the update system have metal shelves that use “MagSafe and other wireless technologies” to switch the iPhone on, download the software, perform the update and then power it off, making it ready for purchase.

Right now, when iPhones are bought, they come with the latest software available at the time of shipping. However, this is usually a few iOS versions behind updates that were rolled out while the phone was first shipped and held in the store. The phone must then be connected to the internet to set up and be updated to the latest iOS version.

However, the new Presto system could streamline the process and get iPhone users into their phones faster than before. But this won’t remove the need to download and update third-party apps like Netflix or Instagram, which will still require manual downloading and updating once connected to Wi-Fi or mobile data.

Though not exactly a game changer, the added convenience of iPhones coming straight out of the box with the latest software ready to go, could be helpful for anyone buying devices while traveling. 

It’s also a unique feature that even the best Android phones could find hard to match, given the wide array of different hardware and software configurations and the fact that only a handful of Android manufacturers like Samsung have physical stores like Apple.

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Staff Writer, Mobile Computing

James Ide is a writer for TechRadar specializing in phones and tablets, having previously worked at The Daily Mirror since 2016, covering news and reviews.  

James loves messing with the latest tech, especially phones due to their incredibly rapid pace of development.

When not surrounded by various devices and/or tinkering with gadgets while putting them through their paces, James has a love of handheld consoles.

He is almost the textbook definition of a geek, who loves sci-fi, comics, games and of course, all things tech. If you think you have a story for him or just want to challenge him at Smash Bros, get in touch.