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Apple patent for charger DRM

Mat Lu

I don't think this is such a great idea.

According to the New Scientist, Apple has filed for a patent on a new security measure for mobile devices. Basically, it involves locking a mobile device to a particular charging cable so that if it's stolen, it won't recharge when plugged into another cable.

While I appreciate the sentiment of creating a deterrent to theft, this strikes me as more likely to be annoying than helpful. It will eviscerate the after-market supply of charging cables and docks from third party vendors (which are generally more reasonably priced than Apple's offerings). I fear that what has happened with the MagSafe power adapters will basically recur with Dock connectors. When Apple was just using a plug, it was possible to get reasonably priced third-party power adapters (and car/airline chargers), whereas today (since the MagSafe connector is patented) it is not.

This just raises the price and annoyance level ($59 for an airline adapter!?). What do you think? Do you like the idea of DRM'ed iPod or iPhone power adapters?

[via Oh Gizmo]

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