The new security feature will disable the lightning port if an iPhone has not been unlocked for one hour. Apple pointed out Wednesday that it has responded to thousands of requests from USA law enforcement for access to customer data - more than 14,000 in 2017.
Apple said its changes were made with criminals in mind who can exploit the same vulnerabilities as law enforcement to break into stolen phones.
U.S. Magistrate James Orenstein issued the ruling in a NY court, saying the government's order places an "unreasonable burden" on the iPhone maker.
The news of the software update is angering law enforcement agencies.
Fred Sainz, Apple's spokesperson also added: "We have the greatest respect for law enforcement, and we don't design our security improvements to frustrate their efforts to do their jobs".
Apple's beef with law enforcement first surfaced in 2016, when the Federal Bureau of Investigation demanded that Apple unlock an iPhone 5C that belonged to one of the San Bernardino gunmen killed by police. New products from companies like Cellebrite and GrayShift use a USB connection through Apple's proprietary Lightning port in order to bypass limits on passcode attempts that Apple built into the operating system. However, data access on the port will completely shut off 10 minutes after it has been locked. That same access can be exploited by special police-purchased tools to break into fully-locked iPhones.
The research note goes on to say that Apple will also use Texas Instruments for the wireless charging technology in the more affordable LCD iPhone, replacing Broadcom.
The FBI and the Department of Justice did not immediately respond to requests for comment outside of regular office hours.
The article quotes several law enforcement officials complaining about being locked out of iPhones again.
A cynic might say that if the police wanted Apple to supply them with all the evidence they could eat, they should just sign a nationwide supply contract which gives an Apple to every cop. He said the phones had yielded crucial information, and he was upset that Apple planned to close such a useful investigative avenue.