A patent that will cover remote locking and blocking of iPhones that are not being used by their legitimate owners is being sought by Apple in a war against the theft and misuse of its mobiles.
Amongst the list of actions that Apple considers to be improper are jailbreaking and removing the iPhone's SIM card, which will not sit well with those who want to crowbar in third party software not supported by Apple, via a hack.
Apple is hoping that it will be able to use integrated technology to detect the identity of the user based on facial, vocal and potentially heartbeat recognition techniques.
The filing states: "A photograph of the current user can be taken, a recording of the current user's voice can be recorded, the heartbeat of the current user can be recorded, or any combination of the above.
"The photograph, recording, or heartbeat can be compared, respectively, to a photograph, recording, or heartbeat of authorised users of the electronic device to determine whether they match."
The remote deletion of personal information from an iPhone in the event of loss or theft is also covered by the patent application.
Jailbreaking has become a wedge that is being driven between Apple and a certain contingent of its customer base. A recent ruling in the US made the jailbreaking practice perfectly legal, while Apple is still unwilling to support any hacking or other unsanctioned dabbling with its smartphone software.