The next generation of iPods and iPhones may no longer recharge when stolen. This is what you can imagine if a patent applied for by Apple were to find a practical application.
The basic idea, registered by Cupertino at the competent American office, simple: once the pocket device is stolen, it stops recharging and this makes it, in fact, useless. The system by which the mobile phone or the player will 'understand' that they are no longer in the hands of the rightful owner and will consequently disable the charging circuit is more complicated.
Apple suggests various systems for this to happen: ranging from connecting to a certain device (for example, an unauthorized computer) to placing it outside a certain established geographical area, or by making a calculation over a specific period of time. In all these cases, the iPhone or iPod (but this system could also be applied to a laptop) the machine will ask the user for a code. If the code was wrong, then the security software would make reloading impossible.
All this would not prevent data theft, but would certainly help make device theft less attractive; given that the code would be asked only in some particular conditions, related to the use, and not every time it is turned on, which is considered annoying by many parties, even the legitimate owners would have an incentive to leave the security system running.