It may seem a while ago that the news was buzzing around Apple refusing to create a backdoor into an iPhone for the use of the FBI, however this week there has been a recent update which has meant that the hearing, scheduled for the 22nd March 2016 was postponed. Some have seen this as a win for the technology company, but as the court hearing is postponed until 5th April 2016 as the FBI listen to advise from a third party.
As you may recall Apple is in court with the FBI as they have been asked to write some new code that would allow the FBI to unlock a terrorist’s iPhone. Apple have refused to do so on the basis that providing this new code would enable a “backdoor” past their new security and could easily be accessed by less savoury characters. The FBI and the American Department of Justice, of course, dispute this.
The two have been providing evidence and opinion to a judge to see how the case will be decided, when less than 24 hours before the hearing a third party has claimed that they can help the Department of Justice hack the locked phone in question. This is a substantial claim, and goes against the FBI rhetoric that only Apple could help them to access the iPhone.
Whilst still on the offensive, companies and activists that have sided with Apple in this battle are viewing this postponement as a win. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) argue that even if this is a ploy to buy more time it has led to the FBI acknowledging “that it may have other avenues to pursue in accessing the data on the phone, something that it must do under the law”. 
The third party that have advised the FBI on how to access the information on the locked iPhone are to remain anonymous, as is the method that they have suggested. There have been some theories put forward, with one of the most plausible being discussed by Jonathan Zdziarski. Zdziarski suggests that the third party has found a method of replicating a key chip in the iPhone, which would subvert the Apple security feature stopping the FBI from trying multiple times to crack the phone in question.
The question is yet to be answered if this case will be revisited, or if the third party method will work, but for now it seems that Apple has won the first round, with increased support from tech companies and activists around the globe.
Please note that since this article was first written the FBI have now been able to unlock the iPhone in question using the method suggested by the third party. This has come as a shock to many as the FBI have long established their argument on the fact that only Apple would have the ability to access their own technology. The court has since been ordered to vacate its order for Apple's assistance in the matter. To find out more you can read this article: http://techcrunch.com/2016/03/28/justice-department-drops-lawsuit-against-apple-over-iphone-unlocking-case/