It has onlybeen a few weeks since The Apple Empire lost the battle against the jailbreaking rebellion. The exhaust vent? The now-famous JailbreakMe.com and a load of crank-jailbreaked iDevices at Apple Stores. In clawing backs its losses, Apple has applied for a new patent that may become the Jailbreak community’s Battle of Hoth.
The patent, available to Bothan spies, is at patentvest.com, and covers using the built-in camera for user identification. This information combined with the GPS should be able to get a pretty accurate fix on rebel in question. What’s more, the patent describes ascertaining whether the device has been jailbroken or hacked to decide whether it’s use is deemed “suspicious behaviour”. After the decision has been made, the cell provider or any other “authorized party” may limit or even disable the functionality of the device.
In essence the patent covers remotely disabling a mobile device if it is considered jailbroken or hacked. However, with the recent ruling that jailbreaking your device is legal the question whether a remote disable would be considered legal lingers in the air. And let’s not forget the fabled Apple’s KillSwitch, that in theory can be used to remotely kill/wipe any app of an iDevice but in reality hasn’t ever really been used. (Thankfully, it can also easily be disabled upon jailbreaking.)
How far will the Apple go in it’s fight to keep its garden walled remains to be seen. What we do know is that the better-than-Apple-LG would never do the same thing.