AfterDawn: Tech news

Apple COO speaks out about iPhone unlocking

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 23 Oct 2007 13:21 User comments (19)

Apple COO speaks out about iPhone unlocking Speaking during their quarterly earnings conference call yesterday, Apple COO Timothy Cook stated that the company estimates that 250,000 iPhones were purchased by customers who intended to unlock them.
Cook also noted that most of the sales occurred after the phone dropped price recently.

Although he did not elaborate on where the numbers were taken from, they were most likely related to the amount of phones sold as compared to the amount of phones that have been activated on AT&T's network.

To date, 1.4 million iPhones have been sold in total, which would mean that 17% have been unlocked so far, which is a huge number, especially if you are AT&T's bottom line.

Apple also warned that future firmware updates would make unlocked iPhone inoperable, just as version 1.1.1 did temporarily.

Source:
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19 user comments

123.10.2007 13:44

So I plan to buy one and have it unlocked. In the future when I add music from time to time it will always ask me if I want to update to the new firmware right? I can always click no?

223.10.2007 15:18

Does unlocking the phone actually mean you can use it on other networks, or just that you can use all the other non-phone related goodies without having to activate it with an AT&T contract?

323.10.2007 18:42

im also wondering what exactly unlocking means does anybody know?

423.10.2007 19:42

In this context it means using the phone itself it on other networks :-)

Although unlocking can mean using 3rd party software on it...

Lecsiy

523.10.2007 21:44

Basically a phone is "locked" to a specific provider. In the case of the iPhone, its "locked" to AT&T so you can't use the phone on any other provider; even if its network is compatible with iPhone.

However, "unlocking" the phone makes it so the phone is no longer tied to a specific provider; in the case of the iPhone an unlocked one is no longer tied to AT&T and can be used on T-Mobile for example.

I am not sure if "unlocking" removes any "limits" on the phone, such as allowing third-party applications that do not normally run on the phone to run.

Peace

623.10.2007 23:38

Maybe it's just me, but wouldn't you want to do what would sell the most amount of phones and make your customers the most satisfied with your product. Instaed of screwing them out of the features they really want and would pay for.

724.10.2007 0:09

Well the firmware updates, from what my friend said, had some fixes such as a problem with the speakerphone.

Knowing how many people have bought unlocked phones I am pretty sure they wouldn't screw that section of consumers unless the firmware update added or fixed something in a way that is pretty helpful.

However, I am not Apple or AT&T so I am not sure if they actually would take into consideration the potential alienation of a quarter million consumers.

824.10.2007 0:17

Maybe those phones are on the top shelf in the closet waiting to be given as Christmas presents. Oh! I'm sorry. What a stupid thought. There's no conspiracy theory involved.

924.10.2007 2:01

Maybe it's just me, but wouldn't you want to do what would sell the most amount of phones and make your customers the most satisfied with your product. Instaed of screwing them out of the features they really want and would pay for.

This pretty much explains why Apple is a third rate, also-ran, orginization and PC's and Windows rules the world.

1024.10.2007 3:05
duckNrun
Inactive

Originally posted by wolfmanz:
Maybe it's just me, but wouldn't you want to do what would sell the most amount of phones and make your customers the most satisfied with your product. Instaed of screwing them out of the features they really want and would pay for.
The problem is not just that Apple is gaga over controlling their users choices BUT also that Apple receives a percentage of the monthly service fees from AT&T's contract. So by not fighting this they are loosing out on the residuals that come in from the monthly cell phone bills.

BTW this residual income paid from the phone service is ONE reason why other cell service providers weren't interested in joining up with apple on this venture.

1124.10.2007 9:19

Originally posted by yojacks:
im also wondering what exactly unlocking means does anybody know?

This means that non-AT&T (i.e. T-Mobile) consumers can buy the iPhone and use it, but lose at least video voicemail, because that is a feature exclusively supplied by AT&T.

1224.10.2007 17:39

Quote:
Apple also warned that future firmware updates would make unlocked iPhone inoperable, just as version 1.1.1 did temporarily.
Well the key here is not to update the firmware.

1325.10.2007 10:15

Originally posted by wolfmanz:
...wouldn't you want to do what would sell the most amount of phones... Instaed of screwing them out of the features they really want and would pay for.
Sure. But how are you going to develop the technology & produce THAT many new phones? You need funding for the venture, and AT&T was the only service provider that was willing to pony up. So for that investment, they got exclusivity, and Apple is contractually obligated to maintain that exclusivity for AT&T, in exchange for the venture capital. It's just like patent & trademark rights - AT&T wants what it paid for.

As long as AT&T and Apple don't ask the taxpayers to enforce their contract (by claiming the unlockers are "criminals"), I don't have a problem with it. AT&T is protecting its investment; Apple is abiding by its contractual obligations; the phone hackers are looking out for their own interests & rights to a product they've legally purchased. What's wrong with that?

1425.10.2007 15:06

Quote:
Originally posted by wolfmanz:
...wouldn't you want to do what would sell the most amount of phones... Instaed of screwing them out of the features they really want and would pay for.
Sure. But how are you going to develop the technology & produce THAT many new phones? You need funding for the venture, and AT&T was the only service provider that was willing to pony up. So for that investment, they got exclusivity, and Apple is contractually obligated to maintain that exclusivity for AT&T, in exchange for the venture capital. It's just like patent & trademark rights - AT&T wants what it paid for.

As long as AT&T and Apple don't ask the taxpayers to enforce their contract (by claiming the unlockers are "criminals"), I don't have a problem with it. AT&T is protecting its investment; Apple is abiding by its contractual obligations; the phone hackers are looking out for their own interests & rights to a product they've legally purchased. What's wrong with that?
This is what's wrong with that. Whether locked or unlocked. Good, bad or indifferent. Those who purchase iPhones are still Apple customers. For Apple to release upgrades that make the unlocked phones useless, is to spit in their customer's faces.

F..k Apple. Nokia released a phone (NOKIA N95)that makes the iPhone look like a Winnie the Pooh - Teach 'n Lights Phone.

1526.10.2007 6:08

I have an iphone and is with AT&T so far... owesome, only one thing and it may be cause I'm not to familiar with PC's and softwares....I just barely bougth it, 3 or 4 weeks at the most, and evrything they tell you in the video (at apple's site)is true, I'd pay $400.00 for the 8GB, I also have an account on ebay, and there are some people that sell you the unlocking software for around 20 bucks, and they tell you that "you're not to use i-tunes , period...because i-tunes will unlock it again without asking you" as a matter of fact, you can only activate it through i-tunes,..againn ..period...through AT&T...they said you can use globaly after being unlocked, but the thing is spooky, cause you wont be able you use it as it fully, cause i-tunes... you know??? unless you keep a copy of i-tunes not updated...???? my guess???probably...other than thath... you got e-mail,music, internet,pictures (owesomes),... is just great, and I used to have an i-paq 6515, wich I still ahve it but is shotdonw, I only missing "my" ring tunes", wich I could make myself and use wiinodow to put them in my ipaq and there it was my new ring tone, out of any song i would like,using MP3 as the format... but now...nothing I have to buy theirs, thats the only donwside...besides that... the i-phone is owesome...

1626.10.2007 6:29

...I forgot to mention.... there is another thing that is sucks...since the service is provided by apple ( Through AT&T), you "HAVE" to pay $20.00 dollars X-TRA for ea iphone, for the service, "MONTHLY", and if you have a certain discount because of the company you work for, in my case Ford Motor Company, 20%, you will lose it, so I did....I have 5 lines in my AT&T account wich includes my 2 i-phones, I did lose my discount on my 2 lines used by the i-phones, the others ones did remain normal...and at the AT&T dealer, they dont tell you nothing" about this ..???? and they only give you 14 days to return the i-phone, in case you're not satisfied with it, plus they charge you 20% re-stocking fee... pretty nice, ain't it>>>//?????? and I'm on it...my wife and many more...but the phone and all it's futures....through AT&T...are owesome...sounds like I've advertised paid??? rigth??? but sadly... no... the phone and it services are owesome...what can I tell you..?? and I had and i-paq....

1726.10.2007 6:41

...and two years contract comitment...but.... the phone is owesome, imagine 8GB of music and movies ..etc....well a little bit less 7.2GB truly....I'm sorry...is so cool.....maybe I'm too weak at techology...probably somebody is manufacturing someting like this....so far....i'm stuck with this for two years...whatch ot...

1826.10.2007 8:00

Im sure Nokia/Sony Ericsson/Anyone will release a better phone within the next year anyway. I bought my Nokia N70 for around 300 and now its worth about 70 lol, sticking to free phones on contract from now on I think!



1926.10.2007 19:41

Quote:

Originally posted by wolfmanz: ...wouldn't you want to do what would sell the most amount of phones... Instaed of screwing them out of the features they really want and would pay for.

Sure. But how are you going to develop the technology & produce THAT many new phones? You need funding for the venture, and AT&T was the only service provider that was willing to pony up. So for that investment, they got exclusivity, and Apple is contractually obligated to maintain that exclusivity for AT&T, in exchange for the venture capital. It's just like patent & trademark rights - AT&T wants what it paid for.

As long as AT&T and Apple don't ask the taxpayers to enforce their contract (by claiming the unlockers are "criminals"), I don't have a problem with it. AT&T is protecting its investment; Apple is abiding by its contractual obligations; the phone hackers are looking out for their own interests & rights to a product they've legally purchased. What's wrong with that?

"This is what's wrong with that. Whether locked or unlocked. Good, bad or indifferent. Those who purchase iPhones are still Apple customers. For Apple to release upgrades that make the unlocked phones useless, is to spit in their customer's faces."

Except that the people that purchased iPhones are Apple/ATT customers not simply Apple customers. And I am pretty sure almost everyone that purchased a phone with the purpose of unlocking it are aware of this marriage and the exclusive rights (real or implied) before their purchase of the phone. The fact is that regardless of the purchase from Apple themselves this product has stipulations attached that are spelled out pretty plainly (except for the 20% thing mentioned later in this thread). Several phone models are exclusive to specific carriers as everyone knows. It sucks but that's the way it is.right now. It's no different than any other proprietary marriage in the business world.

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