I just received a brand new iPhone from Apple.com. It booted up to a fresh "welcome" state, as expected. I did not do any kind of data transfer/import; I set it up as new. And I configured it with a brand new Apple ID / iCloud account not linked anywhere else.
And yet... it has 197 steps on it from a day in June, registered in 3 chunks at 3 different times that day (around 3AM, 5AM and 12PM California time -- it was shipped from California). Tapping on these steps shows additional metadata that verifies that the steps were indeed registered on this device, not synced from anywhere.
It also has one flight of stairs climbed from the same day in June.
How is this possible? Does the device register steps before it's been set up, and it was turned on multiple times in a day (including in the middle of the night) during some test/QA phase? Surely all new iPhone buyers are not receiving devices with ghost steps on them?
I considered that perhaps it had registered some steps I made while setting it up and before the correct date/time had a chance to sync. But that wouldn't explain the preexisting steps coming in 3 chunks at 3 different times of day that are many hours apart.
Could this indicate that perhaps the device is not as "new" as promised?