Apple’s Presto machine updates sealed and boxed iPhone units wirelessly inside U.S. Apple Stores

Apple’s Presto machine updates sealed and boxed iPhone units wirelessly inside U.S. Apple Stores

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The “Presto” system is pretty cool; it sounds like science fiction. Sealed boxes of iPhones are placed in rows of three inside what looks like a locker inside an Apple Store in the U.S. Six iPhone boxes fit in the two rows belonging to each “Presto” machine and it only takes 20 seconds for each box to be placed in its proper position “on a rail.” 

Over the next 15 to 30 minutes, each iPhone in the locker is turned on wirelessly partially through the use of the MagSafe wireless charging system. Once a unit is powered up, it is updated with the latest version of iOS and is then shut off. All of this is done without having to unseal the box, manually turn on the phone and update it, and seal it back up.

According to iGeneration (via 9to5Mac), the whole “Presto” system runs on a Mac mini. When an Apple Store technician scans an iPhone box, it adds that particular unit to a list of devices that need to be updated. The machine also tells Apple Store staff which units need to be run through the system and it checks sales records for each day to determine which units need to be put through the process for the next day.

The report from iGeneration notes that even if an Apple Store staff member hasn’t been trained on the machine, they will have a part in the process of wirelessly updating the sealed iPhones. If an Apple Store employee is walking by the machine and sees that the status light is now green (from the original white), he/she knows that the phone in that box has been updated and can be removed from the “Presto” machine. Once removed from the machine, the box is added to the store’s stock of boxed and sealed iPhone units that have been updated and are ready to be sold.

When a particular SKU is purchased (each SKU relates to a specific model, color, and storage capacity), “Presto” reminds the Apple Store to update the same SKU. This is brilliant since it means that no matter which iPhone model an Apple Store customer wants to buy, one will be available and updated in the color and storage capacity that the buyer wants. When new inventory is received by an Apple Store, the machine tells the staff which models need to be updated. When a new iOS update is dropped, the machine tells the crew that all phones in stock need to be updated by the “Presto” machine.

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