Apple has investigated a system where portable devices like iPods and iPhones would detect and store into memory “consumer abuse events” such as exposure to extreme cold, heat or moisture in void of warranty, a new patent application reveals.

The invention, entitled “Consumer Abuse Detection System and Method,” was discovered by AppleInsider in a new patent application disclosure this week. Apple originally filed for the patent on Feb. 1, 2008. The concept aims to detect issues, like a dropped iPhone, that might void the warranty on the device.
“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.”

In addition to warranty protection, the abuse detection circuitry could be used to disable the electronic device if an issue is detected, potentially reducing the risk of damage to the device. The system would aim protect a myriad of parts on devices, including the screen, processor, memory, and potentially inserted devices like SD or CompactFlash cards.

Will there be an iOuch program to snitch on you? Imagine the day your iPhone yells, “Don’t even THINK of doing that to me!” and “No warranty work for you!”

UPDATE: Ice-T may not be getting his laptop fixed.

  1. killer duck says:

    #18 Those programs will be available the same day…most likely written by Apple employees.


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