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Patent Watch: Apple Taking Stand Against Abused iPhones

According to Apple Insider, Apple has filed for a patent that would help them determine (we supposed prior to fulfilling any warranted repairs) whether an end user had subjected the iPhone or iPod to abuse including such as exposing it to extreme cold, heat, or moisture:

"The system may include an interface by which a diagnostic device may access the memory to analyze the records and determine whether a consumer abuse event occurred, when the event occurred, and, in some embodiments, what type of abuse event occurred," the patent reads. "By providing the capability to quickly and easily detect whether consumer abuse occurred in an electronic device, a vendor or manufacturer diagnosing a returned product may be able to better determine whether or not to initiate a product return under a warranty policy."

Yet Apple has also applied for a Karaoke patent, which for some poor iPhones or iPods, may end up being a far worse form of torture...

Rene Ritchie
Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • This patent shows us the next iPod. Large screen and a downsize of the touch controls and trackpad. Anyone else see this?
  • @Greg: it doesn't matter how the picture looks as long as you can tell its an iPod.. It's just a quick sketch of one.
  • And also.. If this was the next iPod it would suck because it looks wayy too much like a zune.
  • I could buy a brand new iPhone and have it explode in my hand right there at the counter in front of an Apple salesperson, and it wouldn't matter. They'd tell me there's nothing they can do. Yet, others drop theirs into lakes, toilets, sewers, and down elevator shafts only to have them replaced free with no problem.
  • They finally did it, they finally found a way to actually stop me from upgrading to the next gen iPhone. Congrats, D-bags...
  • This is getting pretty close to taking away consumers rights. This is a huge turnoff to apple and the iPhone . If this happens it could be a huge deal breaker to some.
  • If they know the iPhone can have problems, what makes them so sure that this won't have problems...
    "Sorry sir, but it appears that the internal abuseDetectors aren't functioning either. Would you like to see our new iTablet?"
  • Lets work harder at voiding warranties instead of putting more effort into a new operating system and customer freedom.
  • My iPhone is always in the cold I mean real cold is it bad for my iPhone
  • As long as they don't patent a jailbreak detector, im happy
  • @icebike Exactly.
  • @Reese
    How exactly is this taking away consumer rights. Did I miss something and the iPhone became the only (sort of) smart phone on the market? If not then I still have the right to not buy an iPhone. Right?
  • @the real truth
    What I mean is that of they are going this far they are going to make it possible to "detect" and "void" the warranty if we jail break . Trust me if they are looking into doing this they will include a way to track that. Reset and clearing the memory won't fix it anymore. So I'll say it again apple instead of putting all this money into developing the tech to watchover the consumers shoulder how about putting that money to good use like more usefull programs for the phone and less time and money waisted on things that the public will find a way to get around.
  • @ reese
    why shouldn't jailbreaking void the warranty? your using the device in a way not condoned by the maker of said device. Isn't a voided warranty common in that situation? apple has made it pretty clear that they don't approve of the practice. you want to jailbreak go ahead but don't piss and moan when there are consequences you can't have it both ways
  • @TRT:
    why shouldn’t jailbreaking void the warranty?
    Because you can always restore the phone to the latest APPLE software after a jailbreak. If it works running 100% vanilla APPLE software it should still be under warranty.
    This issue is settled law (at least in the US). You can run Linux without voiding your computer warranty. All you have to do is reload factory installed OS from your backup and send it in for repair.
  • @icebike
    If it works running 100% vanilla APPLE software it should still be under warranty.
    valid point. If it works. so if its a settled law in the US then why is this even an issue? if apple tries to circumvent the law they will be held accountable, no? or does steve have the power to write new law as well?
  • @ trt
    here is a example if I buy a windows pc and decide I don't want windows on it and put Linux on it or let's say I have vista and want to put a pirated version of xp on there and I have a Dell computer what buisness is it of Dell to tell me what I can and can't do with the pc. Then let's say freak accident happens and boom out of nowhere the screen breaks on the pc?? Are you saying that it is ok to void the warranty and if so you are full of yourself..
    The fact is ... We spent the money on the phone it is our possesion if there was a way and I'm not saying I would but if I want to put windows mobile on this phone and I would never do this to any device. But if I figured out a way to do it and caused no damage to the phone physically then apple has no right to void the warranty.
    It's my phone let me do as I please.
  • @reese
    I'm only speaking of problems with the software/firmware caused by using the device in a manner not recommended by the maker of the device. in this case i think you should be on your own. If i buy a new car and decide i want to put a new motor in it then the car breaks down should the manufacturer cover the repair cost or should this void the warranty?
  • @TRT
    That is a completely different matter entirely. By putting a new motor in the car you are changing it's HARDWARE. If a user decides to open up their iPhone and give it a faster processor or something similar, it should void the warranty. If a user changes the software it shouldn't void the warranty.
    The screen breaking is also a bad example as a freak accident would be your fault or "an act of god". Thus, it shouldn't be covered under warranty.
    Warranty's should really cover things that the company has control over, like faulty batteries that the company put into their product, or the like.
    However I do also think the company's product should be able to withstand high/cold temperatures where it is marketed. For example, I live in Florida and during this time (Jan-Dec lol), it's hot and humid. If my phone stops working because I put it in an oven, it shouldn't be covered. If it stops working because it's 98 degrees with a humidity of 80%, Covered.
  • @ both of you
    The fact is if apple can some how
    tell that the phone has has be pirated with 3 rd party software or hacked if the screen breaks by act of god the warranty is voided so thanks for validating my point that it shouldn't cause the warranty to come into play of my screen breaks and I have installed software.
    Sad thing is it does and it's a load of crap.
  • @pheobe
    ok so instead i decide to tinker with the cars computer accidently disabling the ABS. should i excpect honda or whoever to fix it under the warranty?
    whats wrong with a company protecting themselves from having to deal with users who are in doing something which the company clearly states they shouldn't?
  • RTFM lol
    you bought Hardware AND Software. You can't tamper with either.
    It's not Rocket Science. If you STILL can't figure it out, read the liscence agreement.
    If you remove the OS and add your OWN, giver, but you OBVIOUSLY can't take someones book and add pages to it.
  • @Pheobe
    i agree wit u 110%, well said