A key justification for last week's court order compelling Apple to provide software the FBI can use to crack an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters is that there's no other way for government investigators to extract potentially crucial evidence from the device.
Technically speaking, there are ways for people to physically pry the data out of the seized iPhone, but the cost and expertise required and the failure rate are so great that the techniques aren't practical.
In an article published Sunday, ABC News lays out two of the best-known techniques. The first one is known as decapping. It involves removing the phone’s memory chip and dissecting some of its innards so investigators can read data stored in its circuitry.