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Apple is exploring new security measures for Apple retail stores in an attempt to discourage and prevent smash-and-grab robberies.

apple-store-security-patent.jpg

In a patent titled "Product-Display System" filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, spotted by Patently Apple, Apple details a number of mechanical systems for securing iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches.

The proposal effectively involves fixing a "retainer body" and "display stem" to the large tables in Apple Stores that feature a "retainer bracket" to hold devices. Some devices may feature a retractable "retaining cable" attached to the bracket to provide power and allow customers to pick up devices. Magnets placed on the top of the display stem ensure that the device returns to a predetermined position.

apple-store-security-patent-2.jpg

To maintain security and be more aesthetically pleasing, "no fasteners of the retainer may be visible or accessible" in the mounting system. The stems and brackets are considerably more heavy-duty than the tethers currently used to secure devices in Apple Stores, and are intended to make it much harder for thieves to detach devices, thereby discouraging robbery attempts.

Apple has experimented with removing security tethers in some of its stores, but the company has been subject to a large number of smash and grab robberies in recent years. The patent is not a confirmation that Apple will implement the bulky security retainers in its retail stores, but it remains a possibility given the solution is fully developed. Apple devices already automatically enter a lost mode when they are stolen from a store, rendering the device useless, but the filing indicates that more basic robbery prevention is still an ongoing area of research for the company.


Update: Apple store aficionado Michael Steeber has noted on Twitter that the mounting system outlined in this patent is already used by a number of Apple retail partners and authorized resellers:



Article Link: Apple Stores Could Stop Thieves With New Security Measures
 
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canyonblue737

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Jan 10, 2005
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i was in a large apple store in a fancy town in the suburbs of chicago about a year ago with my entire family looking at the various colors of iphone 12 at the display table. while holding a display phone and showing my teens every OTHER iphone at our same table was simultaneously cut from its tether by a group of young people who then bolted from the store. i was so involved i didn't see it happen until my kids pointed them out already running from the store (we were the table closest to the door.) the manager slowly came over, shrugged, then told us this "happens all the time" and he just slowly walked to the back of the store I assume to call the police. crazy.
 
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spartan1967

macrumors 6502
Nov 9, 2019
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This is a great opportunity for Apple to bring the case of Apple only new replacement components can be used when these thugs try and dump the products to enablers who want to use the stolen items for parts. Just ID every component on the stolen device and if any are used for replacement parts = DOA.
 

ZMacintosh

macrumors 65816
Nov 13, 2008
1,367
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more criminal enforcement on people who do this, not making it worse for people coming in without the intent to damage or steal. or create more dummy phones and build in the security mechanisms into the hardware and software. if I wanted to test an Apple product locked with some physical piece, thats what every other electronic retailer is for.
 

BrownyQ

macrumors regular
Dec 13, 2021
208
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Feels like this is a bigger problem in stores in certain parts of the country, or those outside shopping malls. The Apple Stores closest to me are in shopping malls, so theft like this is highly unlikely (as not to say it never happens) because those stores are located almost at the heart of said malls, where a grab & dash wouldn't be viable without a LONG sprint.

That said, these measures will certainly detract from the "upscale feel" of the stores themselves. But I guess someone at Apple got tired of the frequent ticks against their bottom line for thefts.
 

blcamp

macrumors regular
May 16, 2012
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Grand Rapids, MI, USA
I find it hard to understand how thieves still think they can get away with these kinds of thefts...? The devices are tracked and can be remotely rendered unusable. What would be the point to having an expensive paperweight?
 

IIGS User

macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2019
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As was stated up thread, most of these devices are useless almost by the time the thieves get them out of the store, except for parts. So it's kind of a pointless theft.

The Apple store in the local mega mall used to have 2 state troopers on a pay job in it all the time. This was long before 'Rona and the uptick in crime, etc.

I don't think anyone was considering any sort of smashing and grabbing in that place when those two goons were in there watching the joint.
 
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canyonblue737

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Jan 10, 2005
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I find it hard to understand how thieves still think they can get away with these kinds of thefts...? The devices are tracked and can be remotely rendered unusable. What would be the point to having an expensive paperweight?

are the individual parts sellable? like the screen (for replacements) etc.? i don't know, just curious, because I agree... the phone as a whole is unlikely to ever be useable when stolen from the store.
 

Crowbot

macrumors 6502a
May 29, 2018
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NYC
I find it hard to understand how thieves still think they can get away with these kinds of thefts...? The devices are tracked and can be remotely rendered unusable. What would be the point to having an expensive paperweight?
Parts. Auto makers, a few years ago, started putting serial numbers on as many parts as possible. This cut down on the chop shops.Apple does put a s/n on a lot of their parts but they need to do more.
 

acidic-e-

macrumors newbie
Apr 23, 2018
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These are already in use now. Before I left BBY at the start of last year (February) Apple had already sent in a rep to swap them out to these and honestly, they didn't stop ****. It took less than a week for someone to come into the store I was working at pulling a phone up to look at it and cut the cable as well as cutting the cables for iPads, Macs. None of the security measures worked. If someone wants to steal them they are going to figure out a way to do it and this took less than a week for it to happen with new security tools in place.
 

gaximus

macrumors 68000
Oct 11, 2011
1,926
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The reason I prefer Apple Store vs Best Buy is because of the lack of tethered devices. You can't feel the product if its wrapped in a cage and cabled to a desk. There has got to be a better way of doing this, probably more expensive, but Apple can afford it.
 

spartan1967

macrumors 6502
Nov 9, 2019
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Also keep in mind some of these thugs are also armed. So if someone gets hurt in Apple’s store, the liability Apple could face will make a stolen device feel like a 5 dollar bill flying out of a pocket on a windy day. Apple needs to get ahead of this including marketing heavily that if you steal out of the store, you will gain 0 value with what you took in your caper.
 
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alexandr

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Nov 11, 2005
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Also keep in mind some of these thugs are also armed. So if someone gets hurt in Apple’s store, the liability Apple could face will make a stolen device feel like a 5 dollar bill flying out of a pocket on a windy day. Apple needs to get ahead of this including marketing heavily that if you steal out of the store, you will gain 0 value with what you took in your caper.
are you suggesting someone is going to take a store rep(or innocent shopper) hostage in order to score an iphone, which will only be good for parts?..
 
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_Spinn_

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Nov 6, 2020
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Wisconsin
Apple should make the stolen items worthless by bricking them remotely if someone tries to use them and blacklist all the serial numbers of the components so they can’t be parted out.
 
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