The New York device is an iPhone 5s running iOS 7, as opposed to the San Bernardino phone, which is a 5c running iOS 9 software. The government is claiming in the New York case, as it did in San Bernardino, that it cannot extract data from the phone on its own and requires Apple’s help to do so. FBI Director James Comey mentioned this week that the method the feds used to access the San Bernardino phone won’t work on newer models like the iPhone 5s.
But an Apple attorney told reporters in a phone call this morning, on condition of anonymity, that the company plans to fight the government’s appeal by challenging its claim that it’s exhausted all possible methods to extract data from the phone on its own. If the government could, at the last minute, produce a solution to unlock the San Bernardino phone, it’s reasonable to conclude that it can also uncover a method to extract data from the New York phone, the attorney said.
Apple does not know the solution the government says it used to unlock the San Bernardino phone. But the company’s attorney noted that Apple is confident the unlocking method will have a short shelf life, since the company continues to improve security for its operating systems. At some point, he said, Apple will develop and implement a fix for whatever vulnerability the government may be using to get into that phone.