How do they install iOS on new phones from the factory?

kkamann

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 12, 2011
106
108
Is it written to the SSD before it gets installed? Or do they use wifi or lightning? How long does it take for each phone? Does anyone know the process?

I just got my shipment notification several hours ago for my 7+ 128gb jet black (currently rocking a 5 32gb on its second battery that's rapidly closing in on the needs-to-be-plugged-in-permanently stage) . I'm assuming that my phone has just finished assembly today or yesterday. I'm curious if it's going to have the latest iOS version or 10.0.
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,471
24,220
I imagine they mass deploy an image through Lightning, using macOS server or something similar. So it'll likely be the latest version.
 

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,764
14,918
Jacksonville, Florida
Is it written to the SSD before it gets installed? Or do they use wifi or lightning? How long does it take for each phone? Does anyone know the process?

I just got my shipment notification several hours ago for my 7+ 128gb jet black (currently rocking a 5 32gb on its second battery that's rapidly closing in on the needs-to-be-plugged-in-permanently stage) . I'm assuming that my phone has just finished assembly today or yesterday. I'm curious if it's going to have the latest iOS version or 10.0.
The circuit board in your soon to ship iPhone could have been programmed a week ago.

It only takes a few minutes to update.
 

newellj

macrumors 604
Oct 15, 2014
7,282
2,302
East of Eden
They'll ship the latest OS (or they use a special portal) to the SSD vendor.
More accurate to say that "your iPhone will have the latest version of iOS available to the factory when it was shipped." By the time it works its way to the buyer it could be several updates out of date. That's less likely right now with iPhone inventory flying off the shelves, but it's still possible that the OP could get a phone with, say, 10.0 installed. The real point is that updating is (almost always) quick, painless and free.
 

kkamann

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 12, 2011
106
108
I'm not worried about updating if need be (I've had iPhone since the beginning). I imagine 10.1 will come out very shortly after I receive it next Wednesday which is what I'm eagerly anticipating (portrait photo mode).

Back to the subject, there doesn't seem to be a consensus yet on how and what point in the manufacturing does iOS get installed. So far it's ranged from when circuit boards are made to using a special port at the end.
 

Loadsled

macrumors newbie
Jul 27, 2016
29
52
I asked this when the iPhone was a couple of days from release and ios10 was still in beta. Was just curious as to how they installed it in millions of phones and no one really knew but still assumed I should just know lol