In an attempt to improve its customers’ shopping experience, Apple has decreased 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 when it’s not irritatingly tethered to a table. That feels like trying to drag you into 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 actively removing these tethers.
By removing them, Apple is allowing its customers to walk around the store carrying iPhones and iPads, putting them in their pockets and bags in order to get a more accurate sense of how the phone 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, Apple has made theft an exercise in futility – they trust us, but not that much.
They might not be tied down, but attempting to steal an iPhone from the Apple store will still result in a scenario reminiscent of Indiana Jones in the opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
If you manage to wrench an iPhone 7 Plus 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 it’s likely to roll out if it proves successful in the revamped shops.