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Apple Confirms that the iPhone Belonging to a Florida Boy Lost at Sea is Unrepairable

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Although it was refreshing last month to hear that Apple would do their best to help a Florida family unlock their lost son's iPhone, it was truly a longshot at best. Last night the family lawyer revealed that Apple did their best but couldn't get the damaged iPhone back to working condition.




The missing boy's father Mr. Stephanos said in a prepared statement that "Although they were unable to restore the phone to a functional state, I want to thank Apple, Inc. for their hard work and generous assistance. If the FBI turned to Apple when they needed help, I see no reason to doubt that every possible means was employed to get Austin's phone working again. It's our understanding that Apple had a team assigned to the iPhone around the clock, and for that we are truly grateful."


Mr. Stephanos said he is grateful to Apple for its hard work but disappointed. "Needless to say, we were disappointed, having hoped to get some information or maybe just some final memories from Austin's phone. But the fact that it can no longer function as a phone doesn't diminish its value as a cherished memory of my beloved son. It's a small piece of him; something he used to call me at night with when he needed to talk to someone, something he put his stickers on and carried with him every day. As any parent would understand, to me, it's not a broken phone, but a memory of my son that I will hold close to my heart and treasure for the rest of my life."


The mother of the second child lost at sea, Pam Cohen, likewise issued a statement Wednesday afternoon:


"We learned yesterday that Apple went as far as they could to try to get Austin's iPhone working, which, as Apple advised, was the first step in the process of retrieving information that might help us understand what happened to the boys. Apple also made it clear that getting the iPhone to power up was its only commitment to Blu Stephanos, which differs from what we heard from his attorney in court. For the generous efforts by Apple's engineers, who we understand worked tirelessly to try to help us, we are so very grateful."


Even though Cellebrite has assisted others to unlock an iPhone, this particular iPhone was likely too physically damaged. Yet while there was hope, we hoped along with the family and were saddened by this recent news.


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