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iPhones are unlocked 80 times per day, Apple says as part of security briefing

Apple shared the number as a way of demonstrating how important – and difficult – it is to ensure that everyone’s handset keeps out unwanted intruders

Andrew Griffin
Tuesday 19 April 2016 10:26 BST
The Touch ID feature on the iPhone 5S allows users to unlock their phone using their fingerprint
The Touch ID feature on the iPhone 5S allows users to unlock their phone using their fingerprint (Reuters)

Apple’s users unlock their iPhones 80 times a day, the company has said.

The company has shared the statistic as part of its ongoing argument about personal security, as a way of demonstrating how often people rely on the company’s systems to keep their personal information safe.

Apple has sped up the process of logging into phones with its Touch ID fingerprint sensors. But the work continues because of the huge amount of personal data that is now being stored in phones and the sheer amount of times that needs to be accessed, according to an account of Apple’s security briefing that was given by analyst Ben Bajarin.

People are now logging into their phones 80 times per day and are mostly doing so using security tools that have become hugely controversial – including the Touch ID fingerprint sensor that has been at the centre of arguments over whether Apple should help the government break into phones.

The statistic showed how easy logging into phones had now become, according to Mr Bajarin – and, by implication, how important it was to keep that information secure.

“Other reports state people look at their phones upwards of 130 times a day but those are less of the average and more the heavier users,” wrote Mr Bajarin. “Regardless, the simple act of logging into our phone via a secure form of login like passcodes or fingerprints is now taken for granted in much of Apple’s ecosystem when, just a few years ago, anyone could have stolen my phone and have access to my personal information.”

The fingerprint sensor is now used by 89 per cent of people with a device that can use it, Apple told Mr Bajarin.

It’s not possible to see how often a particular iPhone was unlocked without counting. But it’s easy to see precisely how much you use it.

To do so, users can head to the Settings app and select the battery option. There, the phone will provide a list of all the apps you use and how much of your battery they are using up – but clicking on the small clock in the top-right will give you all of the time that each of the apps have been on the screen.

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