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Can Apple Find a European iPhone Partner?

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the step-away-from-the-deal dept.

Portables (Apple) 323

pete314 writes "A Vnunet.com article claims that European mobile operators are unwilling to concede to Apple iPhone partnership demands. Several operators went as far as to say they 'will never offer the iPhone.' In the US, Verizon reportedly passed on the device, and AT&T is rumored to have engaged in a revenue-sharing deal that includes monthly payments to Cupertino." In Europe, unlike in the US, Apple has the option of selling the iPhone through its own dealer network without a simlock.

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First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Stu22 (793796) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536361)

First Post!

I have a MUCH more important question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19536613)

Who cares?

Re:I have a MUCH more important question... (1)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537317)

Wall street investors, Taiwan manufacturers, Chinese labors.

haha (0, Flamebait)

deathtopaulw (1032050) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536367)

if the iphone does as good as everyone says it might, they'll shut up and get on board I'm sure
"I don't want to make money"

Re:haha (5, Interesting)

Simon80 (874052) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536695)

This device [openmoko.org] is far more deserving of any such hype. It has bluetooth, a GPS receiver, wifi, twice as many pixels on its touchscreen, and it runs on an entirely free platform (which is thus open for third party devevlopment). All of this for $350, with no service contract.

Re:haha (2, Insightful)

ktappe (747125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536921)

Openmoko seems to be more of a standard than an actual, purchasable device. How about if we compare apples to apples; vaporware should treated as such.

Re:haha (1)

desenz (687520) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536999)

I'm not sure if its fair to call it vapor just yet. They're aiming for a full release in september(At least I think that was the last word on the subject). I think they've even shipped some developper units, albeit with some bugs in the hardware still(Short battery life was the problem, I think).

So, when september comes and goes without an openmoko release, it'll be vapor. I'm still hopeful, and maybe thats clouding my judgement on the subject... but wouldn't it be neat to have a phone like that?

...but does it run OS X? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19537005)

You do realize that's the primary appeal of the iPhone, right?

HAHA, nice product name! (0, Flamebait)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537121)

Neo1973?! It sounds like the nickname of a way too old, over-zealous Matrix fanboy.

There is zero chance that product will succeed with its current name, I'll tell you that much. I hope they didn't choose it to be hip and trendy, because when you try that hard, you end up being the opposite of what you're going for. Although I'm sure people like iphoneshoulddie98214 and xxappleSux298123xx might think it is cool.

Re:HAHA, nice product name! (1)

Soylent Beige (34394) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537151)

I dunno, how about the 'EarPoop2000'?

Re:HAHA, nice product name! (2, Informative)

Simon80 (874052) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537587)

Actually, see this [openmoko.org] :

At this point, we should tell you why we chose the name "Neo1973." "Neo" means new. Dr. Marty Cooper (the inventor of the mobile phone) made the first call ever in 1973.

We believe that an open source mobile phone can revolutionize, once again, the world of communication. This will be the New 1973.

Answer: yes (4, Interesting)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536369)

...or, they don't need to.

And before anyone says that we "don't know" whether the iPhone has a user-accessible SIM tray, yes, we do [iphonealley.com] .

And yes, iPhone will work on any GSM carrier; that's the whole purpose of standards like GSM, and iPhone is a GSM phone. Network-specific functionality (such as visual voicemail) will not work, but the phone and basic voicemail functionality, data functionality, etc., will absolutely work.

When Apple is ready to launch iPhone in Europe - it has previously said Q4 2007 - I have no doubt they'll be launching it, whether it's with one partner or multiple, or Apple makes some compromises to make a deal happen.

I also take issue with the article's claim, regurgitated in the summary, that selling iPhone without a simlock is "not an option" in the US. Several phone manufacturers

And before anyone says that the iPhone is subsidized, therefore it must be a million dollars without a contract, you're wrong. Even though a two year contract with AT&T is required for iPhone in the US, the iPhone is not subsidized - the price is what it is [engadgetmobile.com] .

And mobile operators calling Apple arrogant? How amusing. Also, I have another idea: how about people stop predicting the doom of the iPhone before it's even out yet?

Oops, forgot to finish a sentence (3, Interesting)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536385)

"I also take issue with the article's claim, regurgitated in the summary, that selling iPhone without a simlock is "not an option" in the US. Several phone manufacturers..."

should go on to read:

Several phone manufacturers offer unlocked GSM phones in the US that will work with any GSM carrier. There's no reason Apple couldn't do this anywhere, including Europe, and the US (after its rumored 5-year exclusive deal with AT&T is over).

Re:Answer: yes (1)

puto (533470) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536491)

Dave,

You are an admited Apple flag waver, and even have close ties to Apple. And I will admit apple has some great products, and some not so great ones. I am not a fan boy either way.

But in al honesty, if it is released without 3g at first, do you think it was a wise move, or does it mean it is something they are tooling up to.

It is cheaper perhaps to make a cheap gsm phone. But cost subsidized or no, 400-500 dollars without 3g is a big pill to swallow.

I know Jobs is banking on the Apple fan base to move and buy it, and then buy the 3g release months later, but honestly, this is business, not about the consumer.

Your opinion would be appreciated.

The phone is not subsidized is cause steve wants a share of the profits. I am former Cingular employee, and still have pretty deep ties. Apple has been arrogant on the Iphone front.

And I worked for the company for Ichat, that apple bought the name from. Long before I anything.

Puto

Re:Answer: yes (3, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536547)

I know a lot of people think the lack of 3G is killer, but 3G doesn't cover much of the nation yet. Granted, they have coverage in many major metro areas, but I don't think it's broad enough yet. Thus, Apple probably felt like it was acceptable to not do 3G at the beginning. In fact, there may have been multiple reasons: there may be a different data package for iPhone, and AT&T might not mind "testing the waters" a bit. The inclusion of WiFi also obviates the need for 3G coverage for many people. Personally, I live in a city that probably won't have 3G coverage from AT&T for a long time, so I, like many others, couldn't even get it if we wanted. I disagree with people who think everything is about planned obsolescence, and that this is a screw-job on consumers designed to gip early adopters and force people to buy new phones when a 3G-capable iPhone becomes available. While I'm sure Apple won't shed any tears if people buy new iPhones, I highly doubt that was even a marginal reason for 3G's omission in the first generation.

So, in summary: would it be cool if the first gen iPjone had 3G? Of course. But with WiFi and considering the relatively limited AT&T 3G coverage in the US for the time being, I don't see it as the massive problem some others do. I don't think it will negatively impact the majority of iPhone early adopters, and those who feel they need 3G can certainly wait

Re:Answer: yes (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19536705)

I know a lot of people think the lack of 3G is killer, but 3G doesn't cover much of the nation yet.

We're talking about the European market, where 3G is practically universal and wifi is relatively rare. It might not hurt Apple in the USA, where things are different, but it's a killer in Europe.

Re:Answer: yes (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536749)

Well, I assumed the original poster was asking about the US, and that's what I'm talking about, since that's where I live. In Europe, it might be a big(ger) deal. But it's not even launching in Europe until Q4, which, knowing Apple, means December 31, 2007 - still a half a year out. And there's nothing to say there can't be a newer iPhone featuring 3G pretty soon thereafter. In the meantime, the customers who aren't impacted by the lack of 3G can still purchase it; others certainly don't need to.

Re:Answer: yes (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19536911)

the customers who aren't impacted by the lack of 3G

Please don't speak like a marketroid.

Re:Answer: yes (0, Troll)

aiken_d (127097) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536751)

Cool. So Apple is targeting consumers who are outside of major urban areas, and isn't so interested in people who live in NY, SF, Seattle, Dallas, etc. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but at least it's a viable theory.

Now will you explain why you don't want MMS or GPS either? The way I see it, the iPhone is basically a modern iPod duct taped to a state of the art cell phone from 2004.

-b

Re:Answer: yes (3, Interesting)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536819)

Cool. So Apple is targeting consumers who are outside of major urban areas, and isn't so interested in people who live in NY, SF, Seattle, Dallas, etc. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but at least it's a viable theory.

1. I didn't say that.

2. Your statement ignores the fact that massive numbers of people are in fact outside of 3G coverage.

3. Large numbers of people in major metro areas will still purchase iPhone, and WiFi will also mitigate the need for 3G for a lot of people. Those who really need 3G in a handheld device don't have to get an iPhone.

4. Obviously, future generations of iPhone will have added functionality. Apple has already said 3G is coming in the future.

Now will you explain why you don't want MMS or GPS either?

1. I never use MMS, and all the people saying that MMS is mandatory and "everyone uses it" are high, because I have never used it, and no one I know uses it. And this is on a major university campus. So that doesn't impact me at all. Also, I'd use email or iPhoto for all photo management from an iPhone.

2. I wish it did have GPS. It doesn't. I guess I get to weigh the pros vs. cons when making a purchasing decision? My current phone (Palm Treo 700p) doesn't have GPS either, nor do many PDA phones. Should we get upset about all of those, too? Why don't those have GPS?

The way I see it, the iPhone is basically a modern iPod duct taped to a state of the art cell phone from 2004.

Ignoring the ignorance of your comment, I'd just say, "Good thing buying one isn't mandatory, then." No one's forcing you to buy one.

Re:Answer: yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19537301)

You, and everyone you know on a university campus has never used MMS? I find that hard to believe. Every time you send a picture message, you are utilizing the services of MMS. You may be a luddite, but everyone you know as well? Come on now!

another data point (1)

Hucko (998827) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537513)

I've never sent a picture message, nor received one. I know one bloke who has for sure, may be 2 or 3 others who have. No one uses it regularly.

Re:Answer: yes (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536799)

but 3G doesn't cover much of the nation yet
Is that REALLY true? Between Alltell/Sprint and Verizon, it seems that a lot--most?--of the country is covered. Sprint/Alltell claim to cover like 200million with RevA, though I have NO idea how accurate that is. I do know that in the past, I've had very good luck with Verizon's evdo in some surprising places.

So I guess att's 3G may not be very good, but it seems like 3g evdo is not bad..

Re:Answer: yes (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536825)

I'm talking about AT&T's 3G coverage, which is the only thing that matters in the US, since that's the only network on which you can use an iPhone in the US.

Re:Answer: yes (4, Insightful)

Simon Garlick (104721) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536951)

American mobile-phone technology is five, maybe seven years behind Europe and Asia. Features which are acceptable in the USA (e.g., EDGE, simlocks, contract-locked Wi-fi, etc) are so archaic as to provoke spontaneous laughter when described to non-US mobile users. Just look at the terminology -- fully half* the phone users outside the USA would have no idea what a "cellular" phone is. It's a mobile phone. Mobile across networks, user SIMS, and national borders.

The simple fact that the parent post asks rhetorically "would it be cool if the first-gen Iphone had 3G?" amazes me. Jesus, is it still 2002 in the USA or something? If Apple takes that attitude to Europe it'll get laughed at. And it is.

* figure invented on the spot

Re:Answer: yes (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537043)

American mobile-phone technology is five, maybe seven years behind Europe and Asia.

This is due in large part to geographic size, and the nature of the marketplace as mobile telephone services were rolled out in the United States.

Large metropolitan areas have coverage more or less on par

Features which are acceptable in the USA (e.g., EDGE,

It's not tht EDGE is "acceptable"; it's that it's what most of the coverage on AT&T's network actually is. And a large part of it, believe it or not, is economies of pure geographic size. AT&T does have a lot of 3G coverage in metro areas [att.com] , and CDMA carriers such as Sprint and Verizon have even broader 3G coverage.

simlocks,

The US isn't the only place that does carrier SIM locking, though I'll admit it's definitely standard practice for US carriers. However, manufacturers do sell unlocked phones in the US (such as Palm), and carriers (inlcuding AT&T) will unlock phones for customers (permanently) for things like international travel and the use of prepaid SIMs.

contract-locked Wi-fi

There is no reason I can think of that you'd have to have a "contract" to use WiFi on iPhone. The stories going around implying this is the case are assuming because someone said you needed a contract to get an iPhone (and therefore use the iPhone's WiFi) that you must need a contract to use WiFi from a technical standpoint. That's garbage. What if the phone is out of AT&T (or any) coverage? The phone can't "know" whether it's on contract; do you actually believe the WiFi simply won't work? That's ridiculous. WiFi isn't "locked" to anything.

Since you need a two-year AT&T contract anyway, this is a moot point. But if you let the contract expire or pay a termination fee, WiFi won't just stop working.

etc) are so archaic as to provoke spontaneous laughter when described to non-US mobile users. Just look at the terminology -- fully half* the phone users outside the USA would have no idea what a "cellular" phone is.

This actually proves my point. This kind of technology (mobile telephones) was prevalent in the US long before it was anywhere else in the world.

It's a mobile phone. Mobile across networks, user SIMS, and national borders.

So is iPhone.

The simple fact that the parent post asks rhetorically "would it be cool if the first-gen Iphone had 3G?" amazes me. Jesus, is it still 2002 in the USA or something? If Apple takes that attitude to Europe it'll get laughed at. And it is.

To reiterate something I said in another post:

Large numbers of people in major metro areas will still purchase iPhone, and WiFi will also mitigate the need for 3G for a lot of people. Those who really need 3G in a handheld device don't have to get an iPhone.

Obviously, future generations of iPhone will have added functionality. Apple has already said 3G is coming in the future. Further iPhone is a half-year out for Europe, and it's not a foregone conclusion that today's iPhone specs MUST mean that 3G won't be there when iPhone ships for Europe, and even if it isn't we already know it's coming soon, because Apple specifically said so at the iPhone introduction in January. So if you NEED 3G, don't get the first gen iPhone. How hard is that?

Re:Answer: yes (1)

Reaperducer (871695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537089)

fully half* the phone users outside the USA would have no idea what a "cellular" phone is. It's a mobile phone.
And 100% of people in Austria have no idea what a "mobile phone" is. They call it a "Handy."

What's your point?

Re:Answer: yes (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537261)

I agree very much with this statement. Maybe 3G is not so popular in the United States (we are diverting much of our bandwidth focus to the home computer, not mobile devices), 3G is becoming the de facto standard in Europe and Asia. It has been shown statistically that a lot of Internet activity coming from Europe alone was from mobile devices, and most, if not all, of the European mobile carriers have upgraded to 3G for this specific purpose.

I highly think that releasing any phone without this capability (or something just as lucrative) in that region is a bad idea. Then again, Apple can get surprisingly creative when it comes to their products, and anything with this amount of hype is due for some surprise.

Re:Answer: yes (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19537297)

You misunderstand. The iPhone could have *no* data connectivity whatsoever and the Apple fanbois would find a way to rationalize how that's a good thing. You're arguing with someone who has zero credibility, because to him Apple can do no wrong.

Re:Answer: yes (2, Insightful)

dwater (72834) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536541)

> And before anyone says that the iPhone is subsidized,
> therefore it must be a million dollars without a contract, you're wrong.
> Even though a two year contract with AT&T is required for iPhone in the US,
> the iPhone is not subsidized - the price is what it is.

My reading of the page is that the phone will not be subsidised *further* for their *employees* - ie there will not be any discount if you work for them and they have to pay the same as anyone else.

I do *not* read that as implying that the phone's price is not reduced in exchange for committing to a 2 year contract.

Did I miss something?

Re:Answer: yes (2, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536581)

No. Yes, this is an "employee Q&A", but this does not mean that the phone just isn't "further" subsidized for "employees" - I don't even know how you get that. It means the iPhone is not subsidized, period. The only thing the words subsidy and subsidized even refer to in the wireless industry is price reductions in exchange for contracts, not for employee discounts. The entire Q&A is for employees dealing with customers, customer questions, and AT&T's direction for iPhone, not for employee purchase issues for iPhone. That's why it also says an existing AT&T customer can purchase iPhone for the same price as a new customer: the iPhone isn't subsidized.

Re:Answer: yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19537003)

An existing customer can buy an iPhone + 2 year contract for the same price as a new customer can buy an iPhone + 2 year contract. There's also speculation that the apple/cingular/att deal involves revenue sharing with Apple. One way or another, it's subsidized.

GSM == VHS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19536603)

As far as I know GSM is the old obsolete network, people are buying 3G phones in europe today, certainly in Scandinavia where I live, anal-cysts are saying a new highend GSM-only phone will sink like a stone. It's like offering the most tricked out VHS player, "evar!"

Maybe the RDF can cut through that, but I don't know, California is a long way off...

Re:GSM == VHS (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536639)

3G coverage isn't very broad in the US, except in some major metropolitan areas. See my other followup on this topic [slashdot.org] . Fortunately, if you need 3G, no one is forcing anyone to buy an iPhone. I find it funny that people are predicting iPhone's death months before it's due to even start shipping in Europe.

Re:GSM == VHS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19536979)

This story is about the EU, not US. Just read the title. HTH. HAND.

Re:GSM == VHS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19537081)

Dear Clueless

GSM is the world standard. Your Verizon and Sprint are the only ones on the ancient obsolete analogue-hybrid network whereas the rest of the world went to 100% digital GSM which now includes 3G.

Re:Answer: yes (1)

tzanger (1575) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537015)

nd yes, iPhone will work on any GSM carrier; that's the whole purpose of standards like GSM, and iPhone is a GSM phone.

While I wish this were true, if GSM standards demanded that phones worked on any GSM network, why are things like simlocking coming out which create phones which are locked to a specific carrier, just like CDMA?

I believe that GSM network owners hate that their phones will work anywhere, and that is why they're pushing for the capability to lock phones to their networks like what can be done with CDMA.

Re:Answer: yes (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537073)

While I wish this were true

This is true; I'm speaking of what is possible for an unlocked iPhone from a technical perspective. It can and will work on any GSM network.

if GSM standards demanded that phones worked on any GSM network, why are things like simlocking coming out which create phones which are locked to a specific carrier, just like CDMA?

I'm saying that a GSM phone in general can work on any GSM network, not that a locked phone will. And simlocking isn't "coming out"; it's been standard practice for many GSM carriers - and not just those in the US - for years. And most carriers WILL unlock phones for customers so that any SIM can be used for things like international travel and usage of prepaid SIMs. Also, several manufacturers sell unlocked GSM phones in the US, even though they're almost always a lot more expensive (because they don't have the carrier subsidy).

The discussion is about iPhone in Europe, and if Apple wants to sell iPhone unlocked, that's its business. Since it appears from the AT&T document I linked that iPhone also isn't subsidized, that means its price will also be the same or similar to the US price on AT&T.

I believe that GSM network owners hate that their phones will work anywhere, and that is why they're pushing for the capability to lock phones to their networks like what can be done with CDMA.

That may be the case, but carriers using simlocks is a completely different discussion from whether or not Apple can sell iPhone unlocked and able to work on any GSM carrier in Europe if it wishes (it can), and whether or not such an unlocked iPhone will work fine on any GSM carrier (it will - with the exception of specialty features like visual voicemail).

Re:Answer: yes (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19537107)

You are the biggest Apple fanboy on the www. Your stunt at DoIT with the "Hack Me" contest was amusing.

Re:Answer: yes (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537167)

If you can point out anything in my post that was incorrect, it would be much appreciated! Thanks!

Re:Answer: yes (1, Informative)

jsse (254124) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537127)

And yes, iPhone will work on any GSM carrier; that's the whole purpose of standards like GSM, and iPhone is a GSM phone. Network-specific functionality (such as visual voicemail) will not work, but the phone and basic voicemail functionality, data functionality, etc., will absolutely work.

I believe you know much about the technical aspect of GSM, and yes GSM is a standard. However, that doesn't mean a GSM-compliant phone can connect to any mobile carriers without prior agreements.

For example, you cannot make a GSM-compliant phone and then plug your GSM SIM into it and talk. You simply couldn't connect to the carrier, they'd just reject to connect to your unrecognized mobile phone, unless you as a "mobile manufacturer" striked a deal with them in advance.

The mobile carriers must recognize your mobile phone for your GSM SIM to work, they won't let any other mobile from manufacturers without deals with them. That's one of the revenue sources of mobile carriers and you just can't refuse to comply.

They wrongs with the whole iPhone thing is that Jobs was rather new to this business and he shouldn't have push iPhone to the market prior to striking deals with mobile carriers. Since you've put iPhone into manufacturing, accepted orders and marketed it already, mobile carriers know you've little left to bargain on the table but to comply with their unfavourable terms of deals, like the nonesense about paying monthly bills. Apple has nothing to bargain at this stage but to accept them.

Apple will learn next time.

Re:Answer: yes (4, Informative)

Emor dNilapasi (455542) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537539)

For example, you cannot make a GSM-compliant phone and then plug your GSM SIM into it and talk. You simply couldn't connect to the carrier, they'd just reject to connect to your unrecognized mobile phone, unless you as a "mobile manufacturer" striked a deal with them in advance.

Sorry, that's just not so. I bought an unlocked Treo 650, stuck in my T-Mobile SIM (and T-Mobile does NOT offer the 650) and it Just Worked (tm) - like GSM is supposed to do.

iPhone not being made available in PR (1)

Kildjean (871084) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537341)

Or how about this? AT&T published a note in the local newspaper stating the iPhone was not going to be sold in PR by either Apple, AT&T or any 3rd party vendor (like compusa for example). Why is this? Puerto Rico is a US territory and without us going into political talk, we are rightful US Citizens by birth. So if we are so attached to the US that we use the currency, have the same laws, speak the same language (and actually spanish too), and have the same business guidelines as the US. Why is Cupertino being a prick with us then? We have well over 50 thousand people interested in getting an iPhone, and they wont be able to get it because Apple won't be selling it in the island. What furthermore sucks, is that AT&T is saying that the phone won't work on the Cingular networks in Puerto Rico and that they will be adding Sim and area code blockers, so no one in PR can use an iPhone.

I think Apple likes to bully us a lot and disregards that they have people in PR who buy their ipods, use their computers and love their computers and their genius behind what they do.

The should appreciate us more, but they don't... So I in a way understand the European Government...

Huh? (5, Insightful)

thammoud (193905) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536373)

In Europe, unlike in the US, Apple has the option of selling the iPhone through its own dealer network without a simlock.


In the US, AT&T (Cingular) and T-Mobile are both GSM providers. Apple could have easily sold an unlocked phone to be used by those providers.

Re:Huh? (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536433)

In the US, AT&T (Cingular) and T-Mobile are both GSM providers. Apple could have easily sold an unlocked phone to be used by those providers.

I think they're just referring to the fact that this typically isn't done in the US, but they shouldn't imply this isn't possible, as manufacturers (such as Palm) already do sell unlocked GSM phones in the US.

Re:Huh? (1)

Eponymous Crowbar (974055) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536527)

I don't think I could bring myself to buy the iPhone with a 2 year deal, assuming that also means we need to choose an expensive data plan and deal with other restrictions. I'd be happy to spend almost as much as an iPhone for a nice PDA/Phone combo, and I may still get it. But I don't think I can drop an additional $100/month for a fully loaded phone plan. At this point, I can only hope to import and unlocked phone somehow... or hope that AT&T offers a much better than anticipated price on the plan.

Maybe, maybe not (1)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536873)

Apple never does things by accident on their adverts, and it's noticeable that the "2 year contract required" small-print was on the first few adverts, but has since been removed. They might as well shine a spotlight as do that...

So, I think AT&T will be offering more than one way to buy it, or perhaps Apple will at their stores. Whatever.

Not directed at the parent, but in terms of 3G - I have to say I couldn't really care less. Pretty much everywhere I will be, I will be in a WiFi zone. My work has open-access WiFi, my house does, up in the city does (San Francisco), courtesy of Google, and so does Mountain View where I live (well, actually I more or less live on 'Castro' :-) Now this won't apply to everyone [grin], but WiFi is becoming more and more popular - and I'm not sure the cell companies have really cottoned onto that yet...

So WiFi for me, all the way. Having been at WWDC (and seen the NDA'd presentations) I know a little bit more about the iPhone now. I'm definitely getting one.

Simon.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19536439)

Gotta love how these phone companies have beaten their anti-competitive garbage into the consciousness of the public such that people think it's normal and okay.

Re:Huh? (1)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536503)

I'll not buy an iPhone until I can use it with a carrier other than AT&T. They are the most expensive major carrier and in all honesty they suck ass (I worked there for a while - they really are pretty much retarded). I'll probably want to wait for about the third version of the iPhone anyway as the current model is sure to come up short as any first generation product is prone to do.

Re:Huh? (1)

Reaperducer (871695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537117)

I'll not buy an iPhone until I can use it with a carrier other than AT&T.
Good for you for taking a stand. I'm sure Steve Jobs will be crying all the way to the bank.

The article is misinformed. (3, Informative)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536507)

Here's the relevant quote from TFA:

If Apple decided to sell the iPhone directly to consumers, it would have to sell the devices without simlock, allowing the buyer to insert their own Sim card.

This is not an option for the US market because several providers do not use Sim cards, and because operators use different network standards that prevent the iPhone working on some networks.
Hard to tell whether the author was confused or just wrong. All the GSM providers in the US use SIM cards, because that's how GSM works. Different operators do use different network standards (mainly CDMA), but GSM is GSM no matter who's providing it. There's nothing stopping Apple from selling the iPhone directly to consumers and saying "You need a SIM card to make this work, so go get one from Cingular, T-Mobile, or somewhere else."

Re:The article is misinformed. (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536567)

Yeah, I agree, that was an absolutely retarded statement (at least, to make without some sort of explanation or qualification) in TFA.

Apple could have made their product much more attractive to early-adopter buyers, and possibly even changed how cellphones are sold in the U.S., by selling it directly to consumers, unlocked. I know of a lot of people who are mildly intrigued by the iPhone -- enough that they'd at least consider it for their next phone, maybe even buy one if they had the option of returning it, if it doesn't meet the hype -- but aren't going to bend over and take it in the ass from AT&T in order to get one.

Not only is AT&T asking for the full price of the phone, they're going to demand that you lock yourself into a contract for 2 years. The hell with that; I know people who are AT&T users who wouldn't even re-contract if they got the iPhone for free. In addition to just being stuck with a carrier for a term of years, re-contracting also blows any good promotions you may have picked up in the past. It just makes the iPhone that much less attractive.

Re:The article is misinformed. (1)

Movi (1005625) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536687)

>There's nothing stopping Apple

Yeah, sure. Technically nothing. However them beeing apple they wont release a product that doesnt work with all the functions advertised - they wont sell it unless for example they can't make it work with their visual voicemail, or merging calls (anyone care to tell me if the network operator needs a back-end for this to work, or is it done purely client-side?). Also, important to notice, not all EU countries have iTMS (Poland for example, which i am a citizen of). And it seems one needs a iTMS account to use an iPhone, thus making me royally screwed :(

Re:The article is misinformed. (1)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536871)

And it seems one needs a iTMS account to use an iPhone

What the hell gave you that idea?

Re:The article is misinformed. (2, Informative)

Eponymous Crowbar (974055) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537141)

That was revealed at WWDC. But that info could be US-centric since that is the only market currently set to get the iPhone. Maybe the details would be different in other areas.

Re:The article is misinformed. (1)

leamanc (961376) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537183)

What the hell gave you that idea?
It's true. [appleinsider.com]

Re:The article is misinformed. (2, Insightful)

Reaperducer (871695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537585)

It's true, but who cares? What's the big deal?

Re:The article is misinformed. (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537595)

...or merging calls (anyone care to tell me if the network operator needs a back-end for this to work, or is it done purely client-side?)


I'm failing to see how merging calls is anything different than 3-way calling on cell networks, I haven't looked up conference calling per se, but It seems like something the phone itself should be able to do without the carrier's help. The ease of use of the iPhone interface just makes it appear like it's something new. I sometimes inadvertently hung up on one caller while trying to juggle two active calls on phones in the past, because the menu options needed to put one call on hold and pick up the other were not easy to access.

Re:The article is misinformed. (1)

Glytch (4881) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537125)

It all depends on the case design. Apple is very fond of seamless cases (every ipod I've ever seen doesn't have an easily swappable battery) and everything I've heard about the iphone indicates it'll be the same. I doubt there'll be a way to change the US iphone sim card short of prying the case open with a pair of pliers, and maybe not even then. This could be what the rumored second iphone version [slashdot.org] is about, though; a slot to change the sim card for worldwide markets.

Re:The article is misinformed. (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537213)

Well, there's this [iphonealley.com] .

Re:Huh? (1)

rakslice (90330) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536651)

Heh... slashdot has an editor without a clue? oh noes!

The only reason that a GSM-based phone model would be unavailable without a simlock is that the manufacturer (Apple in this case) refuses to distribute it except through service providers.

Re:Huh? (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536997)

The only reason that a GSM-based phone model would be unavailable without a simlock is that the manufacturer (Apple in this case) refuses to distribute it except through service providers.

It would be more accurate to say "If Apple is pressured by the network providers to keep unlocked phones off the market".


As others have said, an unlocked GSM phone is an unlocked GSM phone. One little caveat here about European GSM, they use different frequency bands than the USA does. You have to have a 'Quad Band' GSM phone. The network operators would love to have the public believe that unlocked phones simply won't work on their system. Many Americans buy into this BS, very few Europeans do, as flipping providers is an honored custom (and the whole point behind the GSM/SIM architecture).


Many commodity phone manufacturers have cave in to the network operators demands to get their equipment on the store shelves, since this is how most phones are sold in the USA. I don't think Apple is in this position. The market is being driven by the iPhone, not the network.

Offtopic (1)

Petra_von_Kant (825352) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537293)

Sorry for the OT question, just a simple Australian-German here.


What does this mean? "oh noes" I see it all over /. but cannot work out the meaning. Is the writer trying to say "Oh no", or has it some other veiled or cultural meaning?



"You've got a chart filling a whole wall with interlocking pathways
and reactions to shock and the researcher says "If I can just control
this one molecule/enzyme/compound I'll stop the whole negative
physiologic cascade of post haemorrhagic shock." Yeah, right."

Re:Offtopic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19537475)

"oh noes!" is typically a sarcastic form of "oh no". One might use it in a situation where they don't really care about the outcome.

For example: if my local Perkins Restaurant ran out of maple syrup (I like apricot, so I don't care about maple), I might express my apathy by exclaiming "OH NOES!"

Re:Offtopic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19537547)

It's a joking/sarcastic way of sayong "Oh no".

"Oh noes, don't hit me with that fluffy pillow, anything but that!"

Isn't it funny to think you can pluralize "oh no"?

I'm really curious about the price (1)

Ingerod (82705) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536409)

If Apple can't find a European partner, and they decide to sell the iPhone without a subscription - what will the price be?

The only feature loss would be the browsable voicemail as far as I can tell.

Re:I'm really curious about the price (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536445)

Even though a two year agreement is required with AT&T in the US, the iPhone is not subsidized [engadgetmobile.com] , meaning that is the real price.

And you're correct: the only feature loss would be "visual voicemail", but "normal" voicemail functionality and all other phone features, as applicable, should absolutely work.

Re:I'm really curious about the price (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536609)

> the iPhone is not subsidized

That quote is far from clear, IMO. I read it to mean that it isn't subsidised *further* for AT&T employees, and it has no relevance for the market price.

Re:I'm really curious about the price (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536625)

Wrong. "Subsidized" has only one meaning in the wireless industry, and it's not employee discount. More info [slashdot.org] .

Re:I'm really curious about the price (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536853)

Ah, yes, I guess that's a more sensible reading of it. I can't say I believe it though - it would seem to be too cheap.

Re:I'm really curious about the price (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536805)

What is this about an "European partner"? Sound to me like Apple has some trouble in Britain or something, and then the author extrapolates from that to implying that it's an European-wide problem...

Almost every country in Europe has spawned more than one operator, most having been state sponsored monopolies in the past. Thus their problem would be the prefora of operators they'd need to make deals with to cover the whole of Europe.

Given the competition... (5, Insightful)

garoo (203070) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536501)

It would make sense for Apple to be cautious about their sales/after-sales care approach in the UK at least.

I say this as someone who bought a couple of upper-crust Nokias (price comparable to estimates of the iPhone's cost) a couple of years ago and had no end of problems. It isn't that the hardware sucked, though there were several design flaws, but it's not like Apple are immune from those. It wasn't even that the software sucked. It was the sheer level of bureaucratic incompetence related to every after-sales interaction. Guarantees that mysteriously lapse on the UK guarantee lookup system. Phones replaced by grey market alternatives shipped in from Saudi Arabia that mysteriously don't qualify under the warranty at all. It is almost entirely impossible to communicate with Nokia themselves. The 'Nokia Shop' system - the Nokia-branded vendor through which these things are bought - are actually Mobile Phones Direct and have no relationship with Nokia at all. And of course the operator from whom one bought the contract holds no apparent responsibility. All this is advantageous to them - call them and tell them your £450 phone has broken and they'll point out that it's just about time for you to renew your contract and, hey, you're eligible for a phone upgrade. It is not in their interest to support the one you've just spent eighteen months paying for.

If I were trying to sell an upmarket mobile phone, especially one as expensive as the iPhone is likely to be, I'd be desperately looking for a way to handle all this which wouldn't equate Apple with the open invitation to open a case with Trading Standards that is the UK mobile industry. For whatever reason, Apple currently have a fairly good name when it comes to expensive-but-neat gadgets. Nothing loses the customer's trust like trying to figure out who in the system of phone operators, retail outlets and repair centres is responsible for fixing a broken mobile.

If it's not obvious from the above I'm actually rather hoping that Apple do take some responsibility for this product; if they do I might be inclined to buy one just to give myself and Trading Standards a break. You know you've got a problem when you discover you've been put on Trading Standards' Christmas card list.

Re:Given the competition... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19536563)

OK. I live in the UK, have had Nokia phones for years and I have absolutely no idea what you are on about.

Re:Given the competition... (1)

garoo (203070) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536621)

Then you are lucky.

Seriously - I've only ever had Nokia phones and until three years ago I was extremely enthusiastic about them. However, the problem we've had with these phones is documented and occurs commonly. It wouldn't be a big issue if anybody was interested in providing customer support for the things, but frankly, they're not.

I still like their phones, though.

EU mobile operators "bemoan Apple's arrogance"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19536595)

... and Apple bemoans EU mobile operators' arrogance.

Doesn't matter How much they'd make (4, Insightful)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536689)

If people knew what their phones were capable of, what the cell companies are denying them, it'd be blood in the water.

Secret moral of the story: (2, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536701)

The US phone industry is incredibly warped with respect to the rest of the world, doing things that nobody else would put up with.

Why we put up with it is a mystery to me.

Non-mystery science theater 3,000 (5, Funny)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536725)

iPhone: $3,000 in 24 easy installments, after a 600$ down payment.

F' you AT&T!

Re:Non-mystery science theater 3,000 (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537061)

Nono, you need to do it like this.

Cable Modem: $45/mo.
VoIP service: $25/mo.
iPhone: $3,000 in 24 installments and $600 down.
Cellular service with GSM carrier: $40/mo.

Saying f*** you to AT&T: priceless.

There are some things a free market can't buy. For everything else, there's MasterCard.

Think about it the other way (2, Interesting)

melted (227442) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537495)

Cell phone company is going to get $600-1000 out of you per year regardless of what phone you own. You might as well own a good one. I'd much rather see them stop subsidizing phones altogether if I get unlimited voice for $20 a month and unlimited voice+data at $35. That, unfortunately, won't happen. Evar.

Re:Non-mystery science theater 3,000 (1)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537519)

Or you could just, and maybe this is medicine talking, sign up for the contract to buy the phone and then pay the charge to cancel the contract. Usually between 150 and 250 dollars depending on what state you live in. So iPhone: $750 to $850 depending on your local consumer protection laws. I'd have to check but I've never had a return the phone clause to deal with on either of the occasions I had to break the contract.

Operators are arrogant too (4, Interesting)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536765)

In the UK the network operators like to bastardise the phone as they see fit. Rebranding, removing features and often ruining the phone. With Windows smartphones they often remove MSN messenger and any VOIP software.

Re:Operators are arrogant too (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19537575)

Welcome to Verizon Wireless...

Does it need to find a partner? (2, Interesting)

Aphrika (756248) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536801)

Does Apple really need a partner in Europe? Sure, it'd be nice to have one, but the iPhone would happily sit at the high-end of the smartphone range with the N95 in pricing if supplied SIM-free. Ok, so you wouldn't get provider stuff such as visual voicemail, but you'd get 99% of the functionality. However, I don't think it would look too appealing - you can get a lot more phone for your money at N95 prices...

And I know I'll get shot down for this, but I'm still not getting the whole iPhone vibe thing at all. It's a phone with a touchscreen. It doesn't have 3G, it has a pretty average camera and overall, it's a pretty bog-standard smartphone. Symbian and Windows Mobile devices have been out for ages, are well established with thousands of software titles, work well with corporate systems and are generally more feature-complete. In that sense, a lot of European carriers are probably wondering what the hell all the fuss is about.

Granted the iPhone has the whole iPod/iTunes thing going for it which I kinda like, but I'd wait until that touchscreen finds its way into a standalone iPod. While I'd like the iPhone to succeed, feature for feature, version 1 has already been surpassed here by the likes of the Nokia N95 and the Sony Ericsson W960i. :o(

I Don't Quite Understand What... (2, Insightful)

distantbody (852269) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536811)

...Jobs expects to get out of the deal other than a middling, short-term income stream*. Because I think we all know that this is just the opening salvo of his grand plan to take a sizeable chunk of the handset market with an entire iPhone series, and with that in mind, I think that once the novelty of an Apple cellphone wears off (say after the iPhone 2 and/or the 'iphone nano'), the service provider/s will come banging on his door, possibly with an axe to grind, threatening that unless the 'revenue-sharing' stops, their new-found income will cease all together, and Apple will have to just quietly slink back to being 'Apple Computers Inc.'. Now wouldn't *that* be funny.

*I say a "middling, short-term income stream" because I do think that, as great as the iPhone is, it doesn't know its market; it's too big to be a glomour phone yet it doesn't have the features to be a business phone, it's "market-confused", if you will ;P

But their just my theories, feal free to counter-theorize.

Re:I Don't Quite Understand What... (1)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536913)

My theory is that you're wrong. Apple have a proven track record in making consumer goods. Bank on the iPhone being a massive hit.

Simon.

Re:I Don't Quite Understand What... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19537279)

Especially when the zune phone [rudd-o.com] is kicking in.

closed system (2, Informative)

fermion (181285) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536879)

There was a time, not so long ago, that one could only hook up a certified ATT phone to you ATT landline. While this was clearly partially due to a issues related to the network, after a while it had more to do with monthly rental fees paid on these phones. After a while the government said enough was enough, and we now have the opportunity to plug any phone we want into the jacks. This, along with other factors, killed the profitability of the industry.

The cell phone companies of course see the same thing happening with the iPhone. Apple does not always play be industry "wink wink nudge nudge'rules. It has had a big part in validating digital music delivery, and, for better or worse, we will see those deliveries be uninfected with DRM. What will the iphone do to the mobile phone industry. Render meaningless the contracts by which a phone user must use a certain service for email. Allow users to create thier own ring tones, as can already be done using a Mac and some cell phones. Nip in the bud the profitable music downloads over celluar networks before it even generates any significant revenue. Force major upgrades in bandwidth. Are the Europeans afraid that the iPhone will somehow undermine their excessive roaming charges? The United States, at twice the area, has inexpensive roam free plans, despite the relative backwater mobile technology.

Apple is pretty good about delivering disruptive technology. I am sure the only reason that ATT made the deal was to remain competitive with Verizon. I can't imagine it was a happy decision for them. I wonder if there is enough competition in the EU to force a carrier to do the same.

Enough already (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19536895)

Every fuckin' day there are at least two "news stories" about the iPhone here. I guess on June 29th Slashdot will become iPhone.org. Hasn't Sourceforge tired of the the taste of Jobs' nuts yet?

Re:Enough already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19537291)

Never. This is not a geek site, it's a macboi site. You come here to bash Microsoft and Linux while sucking Jobs' dick. Do something else and you'll get modded into oblivion.

Apple just has to wait a couple weeks (4, Insightful)

ktappe (747125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536905)

All Apple has to do is wait until June 30th. When word that iPhones can't be restocked fast enough to meet demand, European carriers will be contacting Steve Jobs' office willing to deal.

Re:Apple just has to wait a couple weeks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19537075)

Why would they call up Apple to offer some of their revenue? These phones are useless without a carrier.

Re:Apple just has to wait a couple weeks (2, Insightful)

cuby (832037) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537459)

Mobile carriers don't need Apple to do business. I live in a country with 112 mobile phones per 100 people and almost anyone has a phone costing more than 300 euros. Also, phone unlocking is even more pervasive than file sharing. Apple is lucky if they manage to get even a 5% share... That's nothing.

I don't think it will be sold SIM-free (3, Interesting)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 7 years ago | (#19536987)

In Europe, unlike in the US, Apple has the option of selling the iPhone through its own dealer network without a simlock.

Wouldn't this make AT&T's "exclusive" distribution agreement written on toilet paper? Everyone who didn't want get a long contract or use AT&T would just get the iPhone imported from Europe.

A more interesting question would be what Apple is going to do in those countries where it is illegal to lock a phone to a network or require a contract for it.

If there's going to be any "revolution" in the cell phone industry caused by the iPhone, it's how business is done U.S. cellular industry when the rest of the world is entirely different. I can't believe we still have to pay for incoming calls in the U.S.

Re:I don't think it will be sold SIM-free (1)

lachesis-jp (886896) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537485)

I can't believe we still have to pay for incoming calls in the U.S.

You have to pay for incoming calls but it's cheap for the caller. In Europe, you never had to pay for incoming calls but the caller has to pay outrageous rates to call your mobile. In either case, someone has to pay. No one system is better than the other.

So much the better... (1)

xwizbt (513040) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537019)

If Apple can't find someone to cripple the handset by locking it to a particular provider, I must say all is well. I'd rather pay the full price for a handset I own and can use as I see fit rather than imagine paying thirty quid a month for twenty four months really means I have a free handset. That's all.

iMslow (4, Interesting)

kosmosik (654958) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537023)

Rumors say that iPhone does ~25KBps on data connection. This really sucks. 3.5G network is really spread in Europe so with iPhone's pathetic ~25KBps (I easly 200KBps with my phone and laptop right now) bandwith is not really attractive for retailers in Europe. Well this is hardly a "Breakthrough Internet Device" isn't it?

Maybe next version could manage do something sane.

I mean for networks in Europe the main selling point right now is data transfer. It is like revolution - real mobile Internet. Well iPhone does not catch that. People everywhere here use phones (via their laptops) to access Internet. You have like plenty of billboards, press adverts, TV commercials focusing on GSM data transfer abilities.

Well lets see what iPhone can do... uhm... it can do phone calls and text messaging - hmm. Like any other phone really. It is not a selling point. Right now in Poland (at belive me - it is not the most advanced country in Europe) the selling point is 4Mbps data transfer.

So concluding - there is not a market (beside of really small fashion accessory one) for iPhone unless it can work as all other phones on the market (do HDSPA and modern data transfer).

Apple Arrogant? Cell carriers would know (4, Informative)

MDMurphy (208495) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537255)

It's a case of the pot calling the kettle black. The cell carriers have been squeezing the phone manufacturers for years, discounting the hardware to get customers locked in for 1-2 years. This has had the effect of people thinking of phones as "free" or "cheap"

Last phone I got was through Amazon. Why? Because it was almost $100 less than the same phone right from the carrier with the same plan. After rebates it cost me negative money ( not counting service ). How does Amazon do this? They get a cut for each customer they get to sign up or extend service. So the carriers are making the hardware look cheap and slipping money to the retailer.

This is part of the reason people said Apple was nuts to make a cell phone, the manufacturers have been getting squeezed for years. Apple instead said no, no discounts and they want the kickback for new contracts. The carriers have been making tons of money in the long run and Apple wants a piece of the action.

In reality, they don't need a partner. Europe has even more MVNOs than the U.S. They could buy minutes in bulk and sell the phones themselves. They may not want to, but they could.

A partner also isn't necessary for visual voicemail. All of these phones have internet access. I already use a 3rd party for my cell phone voicemail since it provides more features ( YouMail.com ) I have the option to get an SMS when I have voicemail that tells me who the message was from, and have it delivered via email as well as the indicator on my phone. It would not be hard for Apple to do the voicemail part themselves, independent of the carrier.

So the whole article is BS. By choosing GSM Apple has a phone than can be used in more countries than any other, and enabled with a new carrier just by slipping in a new SIM. By going with GSM they're out of the Broadcom/Qualcomm fight as well.

They have that option here as well... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#19537545)

In Europe, unlike in the US, Apple has the option of selling the iPhone through its own dealer network without a simlock.

They could do that here, sell a generic GSM phone. T-Mobile customers atleast would be able to use it.
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