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Czech carrier refuses iPhone 4S, dumps earlier iPhones citing Apple’s business terms

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Czech carrier Telefonica Czech Republic will not sell Apple’s new iPhone 4S smartphone, one of the fastest-selling consumer electronics devices to launch in recent history. According to a recent report from local Czech newspaper Hospodarske Noviny, the carrier will also stop selling all prior iPhone models. Details are limited, but a spokesperson for the carrier cited Apple’s business terms as the reason for the decision. Telefonica Czech Republic’s Hany Farghali did not elaborate, though Apple’s iPhone reportedly commands a much higher carrier subsidy than competing smartphone models — as much as 40% higher, reports claim — and that could be a factor. Telefonica Czech Republic’s local competition, operated by Vodafone and T-Mobile, began selling the iPhone 4S late last month.

[Via Bloomberg]

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Google Music to stream 20,000 songs for free, launches at I/O later today (updated)

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

It’s not quite official but there’s little doubt that Google will launch its Google Music service at its big I/O event later today. While the Wall Street Journal couldn’t get a Google spokesman to admit it, Peter Kafka over at All Things D got Jamie Rosenberg, Director of Android Product Management, to spill the details a bit early. Google’s service will essentially mimic the music locker functionality of Amazon’s Cloud service, albeit without the ability to sell songs direct to consumers. Ouch. Unfortunately, Google’s plans to launch a more feature-complete service were derailed when discussions with the labels broke down. According to Rosenberg, “A couple of the major labels were less focused on the innovative vision that we put forward, and more interested in an unreasonable and unsustainable set of business terms.” So, rather than putting the service on hold, Google will launch its music service with the ability to store up to 20,000 of your own uploaded songs for free which you can then stream over the web to your desktop or Android phone or tablet — any device that supports Flash (don’t worry iOS users, your time will come). Amazon’s service, by comparison, offers just 5GB of free storage for about 1,200 songs stored at a mediocre bitrate. Google will also best Amazon with a feature that automatically creates playlists. Google expects to roll out the service to its US users within “weeks” with Music Beta invites going out later today to Verizon Xoom owners (others will be able to sign up at music.google.com). Keep it right here because we’ll be bringing you the announcement live.

Update: Lots of you are writing in to say that the Google Music page is live! Get your request for a beta in — if you live in the US. As of now that appears to be the only place that you can stream to… or is it from. Stream through?

Google Music to stream 20,000 songs for free, launches at I/O later today (updated) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 10 May 2011 11:42:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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