back to article Apple on the lookout for one million unlocked iPhones

About 27 per cent of the iPhones sold in 2007 are being operated on unauthorized wireless networks, according to research released today. That works out at about one million handsets. The unlocked phones are used largely in regions where the must-have device isn't officially sold, according to a report issued by Bernstein …

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Anonymous Coward

@Gavin Taylor

You watch movies on your laptop? Primary function of a laptop is playing movies is it? Guess you wouldn't use it for anything else then since it obviously couldn't do more than one thing well huh? Oh, but then your probably reading this on your laptop as well. Probably write documents on it as well? Play the odd game eh?

So you use your laptop to watch videos, listen to music, play games, surf the net, write emails and thats fine.

An iPhone user uses his iPhone to watch videos, listen to music, play games, surf then net, write emails and hes a moron. Sound logic there buddy.

Bet you've got a fax machine, a printer, a scanner AND a photo copier at home as well huh??

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Alert

RE: wow

Some really bitter people out there. Last time I checked no-one was forcing any of you to buy an iPhone. There are plenty of other networks available and handset manufacturers you go for. I really don't see the point in getting worked up about "how the system is against yo" and the drum banging brigade claiming their rights supersede all others.

If you don't like the network Apple have partnered with, then don't buy it.

If you don't like the fact you are not legally entitled to hack the phone, then don't buy it.

If you don't like the price, then don't buy one.

If you don't like Apple products in general, then don't friggin buy them.

No-one is holding your family hostage until you do you know. Grow up and relax a little, some of you guys are heading towards high blood pressure and coronary heart disease... Time to take a reality check I think.

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Screw the iPhone

I bought an iPod Nano two years ago and it's crap. I hate iTunes and I hate the fact I can't just drag and drop sh!t onto the player like I can with just about ANY other player. So I haven't bought anything Apple since. iPhone? Why would I buy one? I get more features as standard on my Samsung G600 for a MUCH lower price and on a better value contract. I wouldn't buy an unlocked one simply because the phone, while it's pretty, is UTTER SH!T. It's only a "must have" for the looks and the user interface - when you realise what it can't DO, it's just a brick anyway. I don't want one and never will.

There are even other phones out there now coming out with similar touch-based interfaces which have all the missing features. iPhone? Stick it up yer arris. This is a non-debate as, if what the world is saying is true, then this business model will fail and the iPhone will become another BetaMax/Dragon32... dead in the water because of a poor business and marketing plan.

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Happy

Marmite Phone

Post about the iPhone and every tw@ and his horse will come onto the comments section, myself included, to fight their corner. What is it about the Marmite Phone that garners so much friction?

I have one and realised that if I weren't on a flat data tariff, I'd be paying £70/month just on surfing/mail. I travel up to three hours a day to and from work on public transport and hammer the bandgirth an awful lot.

Yes, I have a decent camera to take photos and a laptop for movies, but I can be almost certain I won't have them on me at any given time.

The iPhone isn't for everyone, but for those of us for whom it is, leave us alone. Come on, it's just a phone, albeit a good one. No-one is forcing you to want one, let alone buy one.

@AC: IWC on the left.

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xjy
Linux

Unlocked phone = lost sale NOT

This is like Micro$aft and Windows. Lots of armwaving about how terrible the "piracy" is, but lots of behind-the-scenes glee at how the piracy makes market share even more formidable. Every pirate user is someone who is locked into the system, and will be hard to move away to any competitor. This is the "dark matter" in the computer universe that prevents Linux from expanding the way it would if there wasn't any freeloading. Russia, China, India.

And MS and Ballmer are always ready to give their poison away for next to nothing if it's necessary to stop say a national or local government from going open source.

It's also like the Catholic Church. No sinners - no Pope.

The dialectic of light and dark.

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Alien

@ AC

Of course when you buy an iPhone it is yours. You can do what you want with it. But Apple don't have to support it. If you choose to modify any device you own you cannot expect the latest updates for that product to work - how could they possibly support all the modification you could do?

I've not jail broken my iPhone. I'm happy to wait for the SDKs to come out and smarter ppl than me write cool tools for it, without risking the stability of the phone or it's usage on the O2 network.

The iPhone is a consumer device, like an iPod, not a techie toy. So long as it remains a relatively sealed box, Apple have complete control over the UI and in turn the usability (for all of Apple's woes, they are very good at this). The instant the iPhone becomes another device cluttered with poorly designed apps (Nokia phones, from a usability "user experience" point of view).

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Jobs Horns

@Shell

"Of course when you buy an iPhone it is yours. You can do what you want with it. But Apple don't have to support it."

You didn't think about that one before you wrote it, did you? Does the Apple update say "No I'm not updating your iPhone because you've modified it"?

No, it doesn't. It goes ahead and DELIBERATELY turns the expensive device into a useless brick, just to punish you.

I don't think the people who mod an iPhone would complain if Apple JUST refused to support the mod. That's not what the class action lawsuit is about...

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Anonymous Coward

@shell - Of course it is yours to keep

Which is why when you go back to them after one month and cancel your 18 Month contract you don't have to pay for the remaining 17 months to keep the handset.

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IT Angle

I feel dirty

I saw an El Reg article with "iPhone" in the title and clicked on it.

Then I read the comments.

Then I posted one.

The human condition's a bitch.

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RE:Hack the SIM not the phone...

I think the same way, but they had some problems with the latest firmware and are remaking lots of the SIM unlock cards for it.

This isn't the jailbreaking , just fools the phone into accepting any sim card so you can use it as normal. 6th Gen is 1.1.3 , only up to 1.1.2 so far.

The PCB is a bit thick but sits in front of your SIM card and spoofs AT&T i presume.

Important Information for existing orders: We have previously informed customers that we will be receiving the new 6th generation unlock cards for iPhone. This is the reason orders are held is because the manufacturer informed us recently that the 6th generation cards contain severe software glitches.

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Thumb Down

try looking at the right place....

In the sewers for example. where all Apple products belong.

But it migh be simply that most of those iCrap where sold to peoples who had no cash left to activate the phone after paying such a grosse overprice for a inferior over hyped piece of rubish.

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Paris Hilton

Cheap phones

I'm still using my Siemens A55 which cost 20 quid. The reason I'm still using it is that I've not seen anything better at any price. Anyone that pays three figures for a phone is a retard.

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RW
Flame

Milton Friedman Rises From the Dead

"Don't bleat Apple are evil - they are just in business to make money."

Or, as Milton Friedman put it, to maximize shareholder value, the consequences be damned. This idea that making money excuses or justifies any kind of behavior has to be stamped out.

It's time to insist that corporations' first responsibility be to society as a whole, in the broadest possible sense, secondarily to their customers and employees, and only third to their shareholders. IOW, Apple would have to be ethical and honest, even if doing so cramps Steve Jobs' style and reduces his profits. View the loss as the cost of benefiting from the laws that create the legal fiction "corporation."

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Pretty and Stupid

When one showed off iPhone, he got a Wow; when his friends found out the contract locked into, he got WOOWs. It's quite amusing. You got the bragging right; and your friends got the right calling you stupid behind your back.

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Paris Hilton

is this the key to sdk

18 84 58 A6 D1 50 34 DF E3 86 F2 3B 61 D4 37 74 :)

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Jobs Horns

And you did not guess this might happen!!!!

"being operated on unauthorized wireless networks"

So sue me!

To paraphrase:

"

Well sir, we will sell this car, but you can only drive it on the roads we authorise"

PAH HUMBUG. get a life Apple, stop being a greedy, control freak.

WE are the customer NOT you....

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J
IT Angle

Profit?

"Has it occurred to you that the upfront price might not actually cover the cost of the device?"

I remember reading somewhere (here on El Reg, I'm sure) that someone had disassembled a Jesus Phone and come up with a bill of materials of around $200 or something like that. So probably yes, they would still profit a little (I wonder what would marketing and distribution and etc. costs be per phone).

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Thumb Up

Thankfully...

... O2, in the UK, just changed the tariffs. Not that they where *that* bad anyway, but they've just tripled the minutes, and 2.5'ed the texts for the same prices. Check out o2.co.uk

In other words, now the tariffs are actually very competitive, with UNLIMITED data via Wifi-The Cloud and EDGE, it's pretty good.

Less for the complainers, to complain about!

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Jobs Halo

People still use phones?

Hi all,

I "accidentally" left my nokia in France last summer, and didn't get it back till last month. I had been without my phone for all that time, and guess what?

I discovered I never "needed" on in the first place.

I used to think "What did we ever do without mobiles..", bollox, all they do is stress you out, or cause accidents on the roads.

Try doing without one for a while, you will be richer and happier I guarantee it.

p.s.: feck Steve Jobs, which I write from my lovely ibook with it's brand new upgraded OS -- whatever its called, the one after tiger. Phone's suck arse.

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Happy

Services

I'm on orange too but at least in the UK you can pay the service provider to unlock the phone for you.

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Ed

@Darren B

Damn straight. If Apple only wants to sell the phone on their insane terms that's their business. We don't have to Obey The Jobs!

I for one would rather buy something that does the job I need it to do without hacking or re purposing. If that means you're suck with some slaptard carrier and contract that you don't want to use, then don't buy the phone. Pretty simple.

If BMW wouldn't sell me a car without signing a contract that said I'd only put gas from Exxon in it, I'd laugh and them a buy a different car. (Not that I'd ever buy a BMW anyway, and I'm not so shallow that I have to tell the world the brand names of the products I own.)

If you sign the contract, you deal with it. No sympathy from me.

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Happy

Can't wait until Friday

O2 are issuing new tariffs on Friday, so everyone will have to recalculate all their "I love it" and "I hate it" sums again, and we can go around and around and around and around all over again.

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At waldo

"WE are the customer NOT you...."

Indeed you are the customer and as such you are not forced in any way to purchase an iPhone. Were you not aware of this?

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Happy

Prices

The reason we pay more in the UK is the cost of import duty not because someone thought hey lets screw the British more than everyone else and the Japanese more than the US different taxes cause this not artifically modified RRPs.

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@Gavin Taylor

Good on you Gavin! I'm with you too.

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Bronze badge
Paris Hilton

Prices

HTF does a top of the range mobile phone cost more than a mid-range laptop PC?

WTF does a pay as you go phone cost more per minute than a subsidised phone that contains airtime+handset "repayment"?

PH, as she seems to take as many people for a ride as Apple...

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Anonymous Coward

WTF?

I didn't take the time to read through all 9000 responses to el Reg's latest nugget on the iPhone, but several things struck me while I was scrolling through the list:

1) If apple wasn't receiving kick back from AT&T on subscriptions of this thing then they'd only be concerned about selling boxes and not which carrier the PAYING CUSTOMER went through.

2) Someone attempted to defend the lock-in to AT&T as a way for AT&T to recover ramp up for some new service, associated with the iPhone. OK, obviously, as the technology matures, certain portions will spread across to other phone manufacturers, either through partnerships with AT&T or Apple. As a potential customer, my first response would be "Not my problem, AT&T". And based on their quality of service, or lack there of, in my personal experience, I'd be one of the first people who'd want to stick it to the bastards.

3) I think Apple is being really myopic about forcing the customer to lock in with AT&T, because based their projected sales, the statistics based on "hacked phones" and the lack luster sales in Europe, the only people Apple are screwing is Apple and their shareholders.

Personally, I think their over rated but hey, money is money...

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New prices

Amazing: it's like O2 have listened to their [potential] customers and are finally giving a much better deal.

The only question now is have they changed their eye-wateringly expensive international data roaming rates - £7.50/Mb!

Hmm, I wonder if this will finally get the iPhone moving in the UK.

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Coat

idon't iwant ione ithankyou

ino, inot ifor ime

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Pirate

International iphones

i-phone articles really seem to bring out the fanboys dont they. From my perspective living outside the US/UK/Europe I cant officially purchase the iphone here so without an unlocked phone Apple would have missed out on my business. I have no trouble believing there are 500k plus i-phones unlocked around the world.

And obviously my i-phone will only turn into a brick if I let it. Its not hard to turn off the update notifications and even when you get nagged each time a new version comes out the update is still optional.

The i-phone has its issues (no removable battery being the worst) but on the whole it is pretty good and much easier to use than my wifes N95.

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Unhappy

granny smith

The whole thing is based on the assumption that apple is telling the truth about the numbers.

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Thumb Down

BMW won't tell you what road to drive on.

BMW won't tell you what road to drive on, but if I change the oil myself, and I want the "Service Engine" light to go off in my BMW 316i, I have to go to an authorized BMW service center to make my car dashboard not look like it's in need of service soon, it's not like my Saturn, where I just hold down the Oil service reset switch. I know everything is ok, but forget trying to sell the thing without paying them off to reset it.

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Happy

In Belgium...

In Belgium, it is ILLEGAL to tie a good and a service, a mobile phone and a carrier.

All phones must be unlockable.

Thus, we have no official iPhones in Belgium...

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Anonymous Coward

All I know is that...

Everyone I know here in the US with an iPhone has an unlicked one. But then, I work (and most people I know work as well) in the IC industry where the folks are too sophisticated to tolerate the Apple Group Think way of life.

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Ken

Wow, what a bunch of whiners

Let's see if we can summarize...

"I bought something, I can do whatever I want with it." hmmm...I can buy a Porsche, but I can't do whatever the Hell I want with it. I can buy a gun, I can't do whatever I want to with that either...

"Apple is evil, they sell stuff and make money while doing it." It's called capitalism, if you missed the last 80 years, it won, deal with it.

"It must be illegal if I don't like something about it." The reason I hate reading the editorial page on any newspaper in the US.

<sigh>

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Flame

@ Mark Wills

"So, now I'm using my 5 year old Nokia 6310i, and very happy. Battery lasts twice as long two! It does what it says on the tin, don't need all those fancy features."

Apart from maybe a spell checker, eh?

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Stop

@ Shakje

"Stop. No doubt you will play down your fangirlism as a joke, as usual. However, it's firstly, Apple's fault for releasing a feature that isn't supported by other networks"

Bad old Apple going and innovating like that! Don't they know Apple does not innovate? They only make shiny gadgets that go bing! Everyone here says so! How dare they? :)

"By buying a Jebus phone you are automatically accepting that you are buying a product with less features than similarly priced products'

Ok where do I get my real web browser, "No I do not count IE, I'm partial to security" my real internet, none of this web for pocket devices stuff" My roaming Wi Fi? My full video and audio player, all in a device small enough to put in a shirt pocket? And sealed enough so daily use or a drop of coffee does not stick a key?

Oh yes, I had so many choices! I'm obviously being taken terrible advantage of. In Europe the phones may all be AI super beings, I've heard it here that all Euro phones are super. Fine. But our phones here in the states are frankly not great. In eight years of mobile phones I Finally have one that does everything I actually want, flawlessly and elegantly. Yet simply by having it, and enjoying it you paint me up as a cultist?

I'd have been happy with a Symbian phone, as the only American I ever knew with a Psion 5 I loved Epoc "Symbian" and I used it till it fell to pieces. I'd buy a Symbian phone in a heartbeat if it did what I wanted. Or a Linux one. I run Linux too remember?

I'm still trying to get a Psion 7. Or even another Psion 5. Am I a Psion fangirl too?

I'm going to try this one more time, now listen carefully. JUST BECAUSE I BOUGHT AN APPLE PRODUCT DOES NOT IMPLY A CULT WORSHIP OF STEVE JOBS. I like what he is making NOW. I did not like it pre Tiger. And if it changes in functionality or security I will buy something else I like better.

Show me a good non windows dependent 160 gig multi media player the size of an iPod for a reasonable price. I'll buy that. I don't like iTunes either. Show me a phone that meets MY needs better than the one I have now I'll buy that. and no the Nokia N95 does not. Poor screen, jumbled mechanical buttons, dreadful layout. And Bulkier too. I didn't like it. Pity, I like the OS.

Again, and listen carefully THIS IS NOT A RELIGION. I will seriously look at any Non Microsoft product. I gave Microsoft 15 years of my life, they gave me acid reflux and migraine headaches. A strong experience based detestation for Microsoft products does not make me an "Apple Fangirl" or whatever smear you find it trendy to give to people who simply tire of buying YOUR pet brand name.

I have spent fifteen years building and supporting Microsoft Home systems. Both professionally, and as a hobby. I quit. If You want to se a "fanboy" may I respectfully suggest the bathroom mirror?

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Gavin, you are not alone

I have a cannon A40 and Olympus e500 for photos. I have an iRiver HDD player and iRiver iFP flash player (so I do have something with an i in front), I have an alcatel mobile and I have a cheap laptop.

Oh, and for anyone who thinks hayden is right (I think he's being silly, not serious), if I'm buying a license to use, when you stop me using it, can I have my money back? Only fair.

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Keeping up with the Joneses...

...is clearly not a problem for me.

As far as you lot are concerned, I *am* the Joneses. And this Jones has his eye on a Nokia E51, rather than the Apple iPhone...

Oliver.

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Flame

why can't the operators be honest and make it a rental agreement?

to me, buying a phone locked to a network is pretty much like signing a rent contract... in which case, why don't the operators just do this? phone locking to SIM or network is bad bad BAD - it's entirely contrary to the whole spirit of GSM - why bother to have a removable SIM at all if the device which takes it is a prisoner of the network?

the honest thing to do would be to rent the handsets. this would prevent people tampering with the operator's handsets, and have the additional benefit of unused phones being returned to the operator where they will not be wasted gathering dust in a drawer, but could be refurbished and sold to 3rd world countries or recycled efficiently!

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Anonymous Coward

@ Dana

What did Apple actually "innovate"? Hell, I had a gprs enabled iPaq, a couple years before the iPhone was ever released... I could connect to the internet, cellularly or via wifi, receive my mail and if it wasn't against corporate policy, I could have gotten one with a camera.

BFD. It's nothing more than an iPood with a few bells & whistles.

Apple has don't nothing revolutionary... They just polished things up a little bit and stuck the screws to its own customer base.

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Happy

@bws

All that noise and you never answered my question.

Who can give me 160 gigs of very portable non windows multi media player for a comparable price? Or even for more money? Nobody? Welcome to innovation.

You also didn't provide a phone to fit my requirements. If Apple does it and no one else can compete in a market share its innovation. Thats what innovation means. And here in its home the iPhone sells.

And the ipaq didn't have a full web browser. Or a screen capable of using one. At least the Nokia N95 does not expect me to use Windows mobile!

And High end movies or media on your ipaq? Right, less machine and bulkier for as much or more money.

Im still waiting for the phone that would be as easy, light and well equipped, pity all you did was scream "Apple sucks" even harder to the smaller and smaller crowd of Apple bashers. Next time try being on topic. But thanks for playing.

And you think we are sheep for being fed up with crap... Anything but Microsoft.

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Flame

@Dana

'Who can give me 160 gigs of very portable non windows multi media player for a comparable price? Or even for more money?'

Archos 504 160GB Portable Digital Media Player and Recorder

Weighs 11.5 ounces, is non-microsoft and supports many more formats than the ipod classic, larger screen, replaceable battery and for LESS money. Didn't look very hard did you Dana. You are such a fangirl and so anti-ms you are BLIND to anything else.

As for your rant 'where do I get my real web browser, "No I do not count IE, I'm partial to security'

What does the iphone ship with? would that be Safari? and you think that is secure?

I smell the fetid droppings of a large bovine creature

http://www.heise-security.co.uk/news/93148

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Tim
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Re: Prices

"I love the way everyone goes on about the iPhone being to expensive when they can get phones for FREE. No.. you can't, they don't give you "free" phones unless they are the really really basic ones, otherwise you pay for it, plain and simple.

[snip]

iPhone = £269 + £35x18 = £899

N95 = £89 + £35x18 + £8x18 = £863

so the iPhones a rip off because it costs £36 more than its nearest competitor??

Never let the facts get in the way of a good story."

Hang on!... N95... SIM FREE = £360, NO CONTRACT. Just slap in a PAYG 3G SIM if you like. No monthly fee.

That's one hell of a lot cheaper than the iPhone at £899!!!!! (especially if you are the kind of person who will use it for VoIP, WiFi mostly).

And that's the real point. The iPhone costs as much in retail value as the retail (SIM free) price of any other phone BUT you are forced to take a contract on top. That's the real rip off.

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Happy

And I'll look for it

"Archos 504 160GB Portable Digital Media Player and Recorder"

Sounds fine, if its not a tank it may well be my next MP3 player, Thank you. I'm serious, I'm more than happy to look at non Microsoft alternatives

Nope, I looked, its HUGE. How am going to put that a shirt pocket? Its a tank.

And if you want to tell me IE is more secure than Safari, well all I can say is I'm sorry this thread will die before I get a chance to laugh at your expense a little more.

"Blinded by my hatred of Microsoft? LOL right. I simply don't by junk. I don't eat McDonalds Hamburgers either. Life is too short to buy crap.

Oh yes, the ONE browser exploit you linked to for the iPhone was patched within a week. How many thousands of IE exploits are there? :)

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