Apple has been quietly removing the security tethers that keep display iPhones from being stolen from its stores, which could make it a little easier for thieves to walk out with them in their pocket.
Though, apparently, Apple isn’t all that worried about it.
The company’s redesigned flagship store in London is set to reopen this weekend, and when customers walk in, the phones will be displayed without those pesky tethers chaining them to the tables. MacRumors also reported tethers have been removed from two other U.K. stores and from one in Canada.
So, why the change?
Apple told CNET that the tethers make it harder for customers to hold the device properly, try out cases, and see how the phone feels inside their pocket. The company added that any phone taken out of the store would set off alarms, and, if all else fails, they can be remotely bricked.
Obviously, a thief would have to avoid security cameras and store employees if they were trying to make off with a phone. But beyond this, it seems possible that they could just turn the phone’s Airplane Mode on, which turns off cellular voice and data, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi transmissions, effectively making any kind of tracking on Find my iPhone or remote wiping of it impossible. It’s not clear whether Apple’s display models have some other software running in the background that tracks them, Airplane mode or not. Computers and iPads are still using the security tethers.
This post first appeared on Business Insider.