Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Apple Tells Judge Even They Can't Unlock Its New Phones


In what sounds like a challenge for the world's most ambitious hackers, Apple has stated that the encrypted data on newer iPhones can't be accessed by anyone - even by Apple themselves.

The comment was made at a recent US court hearing, in which the US Department of Justice had requested Apple help prosecutors open a seized iPhone. The presiding judge asked for Apple's input on the case - but the tech company replied that 90 per cent of any of its devices running iOS 8 or iOS 9 cannot be unlocked. 

The device in question is running an older version of Apple's mobile operating system, which could be unlocked, but the company are refusing to do so. 

"Forcing Apple to extract data in this case, absent clear legal authority to do so, could threaten the trust between Apple and its customers and substantially tarnish the Apple brand," the company said in its briefing to the judge - essentially a big, fat metaphorical middle finger until the legal power that be forced them to unlock the device.


So why is it apparently impossible to unlock an iPhone running iOS 8 (or newer)? Apple chief executive Tim Cook recently took to the stage of Wall Street Journal's WSJDLive conference to explain that they had left no "back doors" in the operating system's encryption software - so they couldn't help security services if they even wanted to (which they don't). 

"We think encryption is a must in today's world. No-one should have to decide privacy or security," said Cook. "We should be smart enough to do both."

The only way to unlock new phones is to have the user reveal their unique encryption key (or PIN, if you don't talk tech), or capture them using snoop software installed on the phone remotely - something that the UK government are looking to legalise for the likes of GCHQ and British spies.

So - if you're rocking iOS 7 and fear having your device unlocked by Apple or someone malicious, you might want to consider updating to the new iOS 9. Because, privacy.



YouTube To Take On Spotify With Music App & Subscription Service


HTC's New Phone Looks Remarkably Like The iPhone


This Tiny USB Stick Can Kill A Laptop In Seconds


20 Best Smartphones For Any Budget


12 Extravagant Pieces Of Kitchen Kit You Need In Your Life


Hackers Can Use Radio Waves To Access Your Phone Via Siri



20 Things You'll Only Understand If You Owned A Nokia 3310

14 Feb 2017

The Nokia 3310 is getting a relaunch (yes, really)

The return of the King

by Gary Ogden
14 Feb 2017

The new iPhone looks like it's going to have wireless charging

A huge move from Apple

by Dave Fawbert
13 Feb 2017

Star Trek fans have a new reason to buy an Amazon Echo

They've done what you all wanted

24 Jan 2017

Watch Steve Jobs launch first iPhone 10 years ago

Today marks 10 years since Steve Jobs presented the world with this iconic product, but it could have been so different

09 Jan 2017

The best gadgets to launch at the biggest tech conference in the world

Christmas 2017 can't come early enough

by Joe Ellison
05 Jan 2017

16 best fitness gadgets to help you get into shape for 2017

Gadgets to get your sweat on with

by David Cornish
03 Jan 2017

An awesome paper cycling helmet wins Dyson design award

Only £4, and it'll save your life

by David Cornish
17 Nov 2016

Netflix finally confirms it's working on downloadable content

It's official, people

by David Cornish
03 Nov 2016

How Android users can now cast Harry Potter spells on their phone

Well this is neat

by David Cornish
02 Nov 2016