Apple Will Know If You Abused Your iPhone
Article by George Norman
On 07 Aug 2009
Every electronic device that you purchase comes with a warning informing you that if you do not use it properly, (drop it on concrete, pour water on it, keep it in unusually warm environments and so on) you are voiding the warranty. When the device eventually breaks down and you go to claim your warranty, you will never in a million years admit that you did something, anything, to void that warranty.

Apple knows you will lie about it and is working on catching you red handed. The Cupertino-based software developer has submitted a patent application for a new technology that will register, and I quote, “consumer abuse events.” The technology, once implemented on portable devices like the iPhone or iPod, would record and store onto the devices’ memory events like:

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- You exposed the device to high levels of moisture;
- You exposed the device to extreme temperatures (cold or hot);
- The device has been exposed to a shock (you dropped the darn thing, for example).
- You somehow tempered with it.

From Apple’s point of view, this technology I very much welcomed. Thanks to it App Store representatives can determine if the customer voided the device’s warranty or if the device was faulty to begin with.

“A problem arises when a device has failed due to consumer abuse which may not be readily apparent upon a cursory inspection, but a consumer attempts to return the device for repair or replacement under the warranty. Often, particularly at a point of sale, personnel receiving the returned device may be unqualified or untrained to determine whether or not a device has failed due to manufacturing defects or due to consumer abuse. Thus, personnel at the point of sale may often times exchange the returned product with a working replacement product regardless of the cause of failure in order to avoid potential conflicts with the customer. As a result, it is not uncommon for consumers to receive replacement products or repair services on abused products not covered under the terms of a warranty. Such erroneous replacements or repairs may be costly to the vendor and/or manufacturer of the product,” says the patent application.

Please note that the iPhone already has a sensor that detects if you dropped it in water. Also, if you jailbreak the device (this falls in the tamper with it category), Apple will not service it for you.



Tags: Apple, Pattent, iPhone, iPod, Abuse, Warranty
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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