Asia, man. Asia. It’s where lots of little sheep, I mean gadgets, run off to. In this case, they estimate 1.7 million iPhones that have not been activated in the States may have buggered off to other countries for unregistered, unlocked use. Six months ago, when a six-man team from iPhoneSIMfree.com "cracked open" the iPhone for use outside of the AT&T network in the US, and Europeans and Asians the world around clasped their hands in joy.
Ryan Block on Engadget said, "It’s done. Seriously. They wouldn’t tell us when and how
they would release it to the public, but you can certainly bet that
they’ll try to make a buck on their solution (and rightly so). We can
hardly believe the iPhone’s finally been cracked. No, scratch that –
we just can’t believe it took this long." Well Glory Hallelujah.
Why do we care? When little guys find clever ways to outsmart The Man, to chip away at the big profits of big companies, who really wins? Does Apple really lose that much? (No, says Saul Hansell in the NYTimes blog. They still get 50 bucks from each phone, sans activation.) Let’s take this lesson with us as we cheer on U2 in their battle against music piracy as they attack the big guys. Am I talking about big music producers? Of course not. U2 manager Paul McGuinness blames the ISP providers. Oh, those big guys.
According the the Financial Times, he told
delegates at the music industry’s international trade show in France that they had "concerned themselves for too long with
the small fries who organised illegal peer-to-peer file-sharing on the
internet," suggesting that "we shift
the focus of moral pressure away from the individual P2P file thief and
on to the multibillion dollar industries that benefit from these
countless tiny crimes. The ISPs, the telcos, the device-makers.” (You gotta wonder how they translated "small fries" for French-speaking attendees.)
He then called for a partnership in the future with the likes of Apple, Microsoft, Google, Comcast, and even Facebook, to work together to fight pirates. Right.