eNCA, and others, report this morning that the South African Police Service has turned to Apple, in the US, for assistance in recovering information from murder accused Oscar Pistorius’ iPhone 5.

Pistorius allegedly cannot remember the 4-digit PIN code to unlock his device, which detectives are using to build a case against him. The iPhone 5 was one of three mobile phones at the crime scene where he shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on the 14th of February this year.

eNCA quotes Lt-Gen Vineshkumar Moonoo as saying, “Pistorius is saying he can’t remember the code and we have been unable to access messages sent or received that night”.

“These could be crucial and Apple executives in America have made their technicians available to help us,” Moonoo added.

Amazingly, for all the talent in the SAPS forensics unit, nobody has figured out that iPhone data Рespecially the text message data they hope to access Рcan be retrieved by running one of many iPhone backup explorers. These software tools can access data stored in the iPhone backups on a computer the phone has synced with. Additionally, there are tools like the Gecko iPhone Toolkit which will help unlock devices, though doing so by jailbreak may contaminate the evidence as data is tampered with.

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Eleven years ago Christo started writing about technology for one of South Africa's (then) leading computer magazines. His first review? A Samsung LCD monitor. Hey, it was hot news, back then. Nowadays he gets more excited about photography, cars, game consoles, and faster internet connections. He's sort of an Apple fan, but will take any opportunity to remind you about his Windows-powered home theatre PC and desire to own a vanilla Android tablet.   Currently uses: Apple 13-inch Macbook Pro with Retina Display, Apple iPhone 5, Microsoft Laser Mouse 6000, Audiofly AF78 Earphones, Xbox 360, Nikon D50.