In an attempt to improve its customers’ shopping experience, Apple has reduced security in its updated stores by removing the security tethers from its iPhones.
In the majority of Apple stores, browsing through displays means interacting with products that have essentially been nailed down to a table. This isn’t a level of mistrust that's specific to Apple – we all know it’s pretty much a standard across the retail world.
The only problem is, it tends to mean uncomfortable crowding around tables, and little opportunity to gain a sense of how you’d actually feel using an iPhone (opens in new tab)when it’s not irritatingly tethered to a table – it feels like you're being dragged back to a wired landline past, when the whole point of a smartphone is its mobility and pocketability.
Now that’s all changing, at least far as Apple retail goes, as in its new Regent Street store, as well as other stores across the UK and Canada, Apple is removing these tethers.
By doing so, Apple is allowing its customers to walk around the store carrying iPhones and iPads (opens in new tab), and even put them in their pockets and bags in order to get a better sense of how the devices will fit into their everyday lives.
This is great for consumers, but it does make Apple an attractive target to those who carry a five-finger discount card.
Unfortunately for them, however, Apple has made theft an exercise in futility; they trust us, but not that much.
They may not be tied down, but attempting to steal an iPhone from the Apple store will still result in a scenario reminiscent of Indiana Jones' experience in the opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
If you manage to wrench an iPhone 7 Plus (opens in new tab) from one of the many people also testing it out, you'll have to pocket it unnoticed by anyone and make your way to the door. At the door you'll probably set off the store's security alarm.
If you’re not pounced on by a security guard before you feel the warmth of the sunlight and actually manage to get away with the phone, Apple will simply brick it from afar using the Find My iPhone feature, leaving you with a very expensive paperweight.
The untethered phones aren’t in every Apple store right now, but new policy is likely to be rolled out if it proves successful in the revamped shops.