Apple has already made CDs all but obsolete with the iPod and iTunes, and it has now emerged that it is planning to create an 'iKey' device that will open your front door and even your car.
By integrating the ability to unlock your house and vehicle into a single portable device, such as a mobile phone, Apple will be able to do away with key rings and physical keys in favour of something much more compact and convenient.
A PIN code would be entered into the device, which would then connect wirelessly to the locked door nearby, allowing for easy access.
Apple's intentions were discovered after it filed for a patent for the keyless entry technology in the USA, which was first uncovered by the Telegraph.
The patent explicitly covers a device that can "communicate with an external device to open a lock. By way of example, the electronic device may be a model of an iPhone".
People who are familiar with London's Oyster Card payment system for travel will appreciate the similarities this system shares with Apple's plans for the next generation of iPhones.
This kind of keyless entry is becoming more common among car manufacturers and is referred to as Near Field Communication.
Incorrect entry of a household PIN by a registered iPhone could result in an alarm being set off, or SMS-based alerts being transmitted to the resident of the property to let them know of an attempted unauthorised entry.
Apple did not make any coment in relation to the iKey patent, but Leander Kahney, an expert on all things Apple, predicted that the device could also "turn your iPhone into an electronic wallet and ID card".