Apple has told the families of two teenage boys lost at sea that it has been unable to recover any data from the iPhone belonging to one of them. The families had hoped that content on the phone might have provided clues as to what happened.

14-year-olds Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen failed to return from a boating trip last July, but their 19-foot boat was boat was found drifting 100 miles from Bermuda back in March, and on it was an iPhone belonging to Stephanos. Apple agreed last month to attempt to recover data from the phone, but the SunSentinel reports that the company’s efforts were unsuccessful …

Apple had to take the phone apart “in order to run the diagnostics, clean and restore components and perform a chemical workup” in an effort to analyze the data, according to Blu Stephanos’ statement […]

Stephanos said he was told Apple had a team that worked “around the clock” on his son’s phone. He thanked the company for trying to assist his family.

Apple said that while its own attempts had failed, there are other experts who may be able to recover the data, and Apple was willing to hand the phone over to them if the families wished. However, the two families do not currently agree, the Cohens wanting every avenue to be explored while the Stephanos family want to retain it “as a cherished memory of [a] beloved son.”

The news comes shortly after FBI director James Comey told reporters that there would be further litigation between the FBI and device manufacturers over accessing locked devices. The FBI had initially claimed that the San Bernardino case was not an attempt to set a precedent. Court records showed that the LAPD was able to successfully access a locked iPhone 5s suring the time when the FBI was unable to access the 5c in the San Bernardino case.


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