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Apple's iPhone goes on sale in Japan to cheering crowd

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iPhone Broken This morning on TV it was funny to see an iPhone's functions being shown and the photo not rotating automatically when the phone was rotated. The newscaster tried it a few times in different directions but to no avail.

On my way to work today I saw a bunch of guys in front of a Softbank branch on the outskirts of my city (I don't live in Tokyo). There were no cars in the parking lot just the bicycles that belonged to the Akihabara like guys.

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Yeah, watched it too. Also the phone function didn't want to come up for some time. He also fluffed the first resizing of the image.

Said that Apple so far had a few probs when demoing their stuff.

Myself don't think there is a big market for the IPhone in japan. Most japanese like to text one-handed and I don't think it can handle that easily. Also all I have seen so far had an english interface. Waiting to see how easy it will be to enter japanese text.

As for the IPhone being cheaper than japanese smartphones not really when you take all the charges, 2-year contract, etc into account. Yeah, the upfront money is low but they hit you every month for 2 years to make up for it.

Also the packet deal you get hurts when browsing the net as you don't view sites designed for cels(imode, etc) but real web-pages which are a LOT heavier in data, etc.

Lets wait and see.

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As for the touch-panel interface, nothing new most digi-cams been using it for a long time.

One-seg and Saifu-keitai not being supported will also impact sales in Japan. Most likely little impact outside japan though.

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What kind of morons cheer a phone?

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iphone loving morons cheer a phone!!

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yeeeeeah, it is here!

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There are limits to touch screen technology, as going to any ATM or automated train ticket vending machine in Japan will attest. Something about the traction. I heard that battery life is a weak point. Also, I can imagine people dropping these things easily on the train tracks. Does it come with a strap ring?

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those cell phone sites are the worst:

Everytime you goto Amazon.com they will jam you on their iPhone site. Sites with many click areas can be bothersome on a touch phone though (you touch the screen to navigate and you accidently hit a link)

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"iPhone loving morons cheer a phone!!" Aren't we biter today? If it's a flop, too expensive, too few functions - it will be a flop. It may not be for everybody, but that is actually to be seen. I remember the same crow complaining a few years back about how bad/incompatible/expensive/... the iPod was. Now everybody has it. Let the customers vote for or against it - with their wallets, not just a few self-righteous prophets who have too much money and too much time.

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Noripinhead

News this morning said "No holes" to attach a strap. This will aqain NOT appeal to the japanese market.

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Zen Builder, did it occur to you to research anything before you rant? The packet deal for the iPhone allows for unlimited data, so heavy data sites will make no difference in charges. The 'full browser' that some phones purport are a joke. Apple has the only credible 'full browser'. Lack of saifu is much more of a concern. But no '1 seg'? Who cares!!!

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cheaper fees and eye-catching ads.

I did some research, for the iphone in Japan the base cost is 9661 yen with 10.5 yen per 30 seconds calls or 8681 with 25.5yen per 30 second calls a month!

That is NOT cheap!

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Yeah, I checked the deals and you are way wrong, read the small print.

But got for the IPhone deals that are offered but don't be surprised when you get hit for exceeding the limits on your deal.

Remember this is "Japan Today" and we talk about Japan NOT anywhere else.

Seen the fees in New Zealand $200 for the phone than $250 monthly for 2 years + packages.

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I went to Softbank yesterday and asked to see their display model. I might as well have said "My cat drives a carrot!" No display, no model phone and I was told to "Be patient, it will be here at 8AM."

When I asked to see one, knowing they must have had them in the store somewhere at 5PM with launch day just around the corner, I was given a pathetic looking flyer with a picture of the iPhone 3G on it, and a piece of paper with ¥33,640 yen on it and a monthly quote of over ¥6,300 yen underneath that.

There were no queues there this morning (and it's the biggest Softbank store in my city) and at the price they're asking, I think I'll just wait until someone gets bored or confused with it, and sells it to a recycle shop. Then just buy the unlock program for it.

You can see more about the iPhone and its functions here:

http://www.inyouriphone.com

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Zen Builder: Ring softbank and ask, I'm not wrong. You are forced to go onto a 5985 unlimited dataplan

+1961 - double white plan (10.5 yen to non softbank phones / free to softbank between 1am-9pm) +5985 - unlimited data plan +315 - Iphone fee +2880 - Cost of phone (paid per month for 24 months) -1920 - Discount for 24 month plan

+9661 Cost of iphone per month

9661 -

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JT really screwed the formatting on that one.

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Gogogo.

Wait and see what you will really pay at the end.

So far the IPhone is MORE expensive than other smart-phones available, they just hide the charges with the 2-year contract you need to take out.

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Zen Builder: I don't have one, but yeah that is what I am saying, it's not cheap at all!

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Gogogo.

Sorry misread your posts.

Fun stuff just got off-line with a friend that is all huff n' puff over the touch screen technolgy.

E-mailed him a pic of me using a touchscreen monitor 27yrs ago, back in the day they wanted to replace the keyboard with touch-screens, didn't take off till ATM's, etc came along and the tech was resurected.

Touch-screen is fine but you need to be be accurate and responses/reaction are slower.

Hence why I don't think the japanese will buy it, if you watched them texting (one-hand) they are FAST.

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Yes, I would like to have one.

No, I'm not prepared to pay such outrageous monthly charges.

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One handed text entry on the iPhone is a doddle.

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For a far better informed thread, see:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=402787

There is an option to use a regular phone-keypad style input for Japanese, for those who are totally unwilling to give up that format (though the querty keyboard is bound to be faster, once you get used to it) so that shouldn't be an issue.

A lot of this sounds like comments from people who have never actually used one...

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You can test, play, touch, make phone calls with the iPhone at the Apple Store (I went to the Ginza one at lunch time). The touch screen responds well actually, and for me the functions seemed sufficient. I'm a current Softbank user, so regarding the fees, I agree it would be best to be careful; they are a bit sneaky with the fine print. And upon visiting the Softbank nearest my office, they only had a whopping total of 9! iPhones for sale today. NINE! So maybe in 9 months when they'll be available again, all the snags will be fixed.

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One thing about the new iphone is that the battery is a joke. A reviewer did some testing of one (when I find a link for the article I'll make sure to post it) and it went from being fully charged in the morning to less than 20% battery life by the afternoon, and one afternoon it completely went dead. And unlike any other normal phone, it's not like you can charge a spare battery and keep it with you. You cannot change the battery yourself. So if it dies in the middle of the day, better hope you're near an outlet or a cigarette lighter. That kind of battery life is inconvenient for anyone who is constantly moving. And it still doesn't have voice dialing, video capabilities, or voice GPS. (Like I'll drive in my car and squint at my iphone for turn by turn directions.) Other than those issues, the phone is a dream. lol.

By the way, there is no insurance available on the phoen either, so make sure not to drop it or get it stolen. Cause once you're locked in for that two years, you'd have to buy another phone at ful price (not the discounted price offered with signing a two year contract)

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Any way to use the iphone on other networks yet?

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Actually there are I think three input methods for japanese. One with the keyboard, typing in romaji to get the kana/kanji, another with the phone-keypad style UdaMan mentioned, and the third being a a ka sa ta na keypad, where pressing on the kana will bring up that kanas entire aiueo set. One-handed input is simple.

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Has anyone heard if they're going to sell out today or over the weekend??? Will I be able to get on on my way home tonight in my small Softbank shop in FAR west Tokyo???

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people who cheer phones have nothing else in their lives to cheer about...sad

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JapanProbe has an article describing the restrictions placed on foreigners who want to buy an iPhone in Japan.

http://www.japanprobe.com/?p=5106

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Those regulations are ridiculous

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Japan, though, is the tech-mad market that...

It must be the same person translating these articles. If I see a news report (advertising?) telling me how "tech mad" the Japanese are again I'm gonna spill my tea. It must be the same person that keeps saying the "hawkish" Prime Minister Fukuda.

Trust me, no Japanese person here has more Apple tech saavy goods than my nephew and his mates back home. Anything Apple they have at least 2 of.

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I have not done much research but still think the iPhone is cool. My girlfriend though has two major reasons not to want one yet... As mentioned above, one is that she doesn't know if they have a hole for her many many MANY straps. The other is that she doesn't know if they have the "cute Japanese kaomoji" that she oh so adores.

Anyone know if the iPhone has these things?

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Sorry, was confirmed on the morning news:

IPhone can't take straps, was a major point raised. In short no holes for them.

Not sure about Japanese text as I haven't seen one yet using a japanese interface. Even the one they demoed this morning used an english menu.

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No hole for the strap but the little cute faces are possible.

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Blah iPhone. My b/f's mobile has twice as many functions. Does the iphone have the Edy by the way? Restrictions for foreigners? Uh oh. Here comes Debito any second now. rolls eyes

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From the JapanProbe article the FULL price of the IPhone is actually 80.000Yen, way more than a japanese smart-phone. Not surprised and expected as much.

Don't think IPhone has Edy, etc as those are functions for Japan only. I know they don't do 1seg, saifu-keitai don't even get me started on the internal camera way below todays keitai standards. Doubt it can even read those square codes used here.

Just a fancy gimmick, that needs a ton of downloads, etc to do the stuff other devices can.

As for the Softbank rules I say "so what" storm in a tea-cup. Never stopped me from owning anything here.

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Here is a ton of information on the damn thing and how to hack it if you want

http://www.iphonehacks.com/

Great site for news and updates

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taiko666 at 03:55 PM JST - 11th July

JapanProbe has an article describing the restrictions placed on foreigners who want to buy an iPhone in Japan.

http://www.japanprobe.com/?p=5106

Japan sucks when it comes to "Gaijin" rights and how they are treated, they are so Xenophobic here

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No hole for the strap but the little cute faces are possible.

Thanks for the info DXXJP! cheers

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Texas dude

The "restrictions" have nothing to do with Japan or the Japanese government.

The "restrictions", are nothing more than contract terms that Softbank is imposing on those who want to enter into a service contract with Softbank and nothing more. If you do not want to enter into the contract with Softbank, then don't.

There is nothing Xenophobic about a company protecting its interests.

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YadoNapj... If the restrictions are only being placed on non-Japanese then it is xenophobic and illegal even by Japanese law.

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Who really cares.

If you want one and you can get it than all the rules are just so much mush.

No need to get your tush in a knot crying "racism", etc leave that to the debito's who got nothing better to do with their life's.

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I hate Softbank with a passion. I really do. They are rude and downright liars about every aspect of their service. Any company that has gone through as many changes as they have in the past 9 years, should have the word 'DODGY' preceding their company name.

One can only hope that the other phone communications companies catch up and get signed onto providing the iPhone.

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Movieguy - I couldn't agree more!

My friend Tony got iPhone today, but in the store he said his wife was practically handed hers immediately, while he had to go through a procedure that even Narita Airport Customs officials would be proud of!

Screw Softbank and their lousy overpriced service, just get one off ebay and save a tonne of money! (initially at least)

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And another thing....how the hell can Softbank sell the iPhone for ¥80,000 when Job's has stated clearly that it is only $299!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Save your money and stay away from $oftbank!

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日本ではおサイフケータイや絵文字が使えず、月額利用料が高いこともあり、今後は人気の持続力が問われることになる。

There are questions about it's long-term appeal as the Japanese version does not have a credit function (like SUICA for example) nor the "cute faces" functions, and the monthly fee rip-off will see you eating cheap convenience store obento.

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and apples site is down

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I am to understand the same is going to be offered to Canadians. If it goes over at the high costs I tend to wonder.

Mind you I only had a bulky Moto rolo or whatever it was called when my Mother was ill & once she passed away I dumped it into the dustbin.

Unfortunately I had payed a year in advance om the '80s, as was in demand at the time. Phoned & the operator said they would only charge me for this month & send back the money for the rest. Most polite of them & openly said that was greatly appreciated & if I ever needed a cellular I would probably join up with them again.

Yes the only phone I have is one hooked up to a wall socket yet being a h/gun director/instructor I am often receiving phone calls from others to even the RCMP for the okay to use the range on such & such days.

TRUE I should be carrying one for I tend to roll out one of my m/c sportbikes & hike up in the four of preferered two lane mountain roads for anything from 5 to 7+ hour runs around 3 to 4 days of a week which riding season is here. A cellular is almost like insurance on a m/c, car, or home & I should have one, but the cost all year around would probably never be used.

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youdonknow.

The actual unit cost is 80.000Yen. The diff between the purchase price and the 80.000yen is split across the monthly fees on the 2-year contract you need to sign.

Not a new technic they do it globally.

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Movieguy:

Softbank is free to place whatever contractual restrictions they want on those who want to apply for their services.

It is a civil matter and surely not illegal.

I am not sure what you mean by xenophobic in this context, but Softbank protecting their own pecuniary interests is good business.

If you can't afford the friggin service don't sign a K with Softbank.

If you can afford the service, bite the bullet, sign their petite one-sided K, and walk out with your iPhone.

(I have had one for about a year, and it makes life a lot easier. For me it is worth every penny.) If you think Softbank is ripping you guys off in Japan compare it to what AT&T charges in the States.

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YadotNapaj... How in the world is racism not illegal in your eye??? You can not put restrictions on services based on nationality or race. PERIOD. When they put the conditions on "foreigners" only it is no longer a civil matter, but a human rights matter and illegal.

It is xenophobic to irrationally believe that because a person is not from your country they will not fulfill their contracts and obligations and then refuse them services. Japanese people have the same opportunities to leave the country and not fulfill their contracts and obligations. AND don't even bother bringing up having family in Japan. The family is under no obligation (shame is not a legally recognized term...) to pay for a family member's debt unless they are minors or a spouse.

No where in my previous posts did I complain about the cost of the iPhone or Softbank's packages/services. The prices I've heard seem about normal. That 80,000 Yen price tag was shocking to look at as one big number, but it's obvious they are subsidizing the cost of the iPhone and that's why they were able to have the price the same in Japan as it is in most countries.

I still plan to buy one and I don't think the "REPORTED" conditions will keep me from getting one.

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movieguy.

And you think those rules don't exist for non-nationals in other countries? Ask any non-native in your home-country.

If you read Japan Probe about the conditions you will see many people got their phones with no hassles.

Problem seem to be confined to certain shops not the general policy by the company. But many people will get their kickers in knot too easily.

And before you attack me I have been an expat in a few countries and also know how foreigners are treated in my own country. And it ain't pretty anywhere.

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ZenBuilder... No. No. I gotcha. I just like to keep my comments on Japan because this is where I live and the JT moderator will usually tell us to keep our comments on topic and not allow comments comparing Japan to other countries. I know it's equally as bad in other countries and being a "minority" in my own country I still get harrassed when I'm back home for vacation.

I hope I don't have any trouble getting my phone. I have all of the necessary documents with over two years to go on my visa and I have two Japanese credit cards. I guess I should just go to a bigger shop like Omotesando or Roppongi that will have more people to deal with the international community.

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Yeah, a bigger shop will be better.

You on a 3yr visa? If so you can apply for PR/Eijuken and all those worries will be forgotten.

Got my PR within 3~4yrs of arriving in japan(got here on a spouse visa.

Best of luck.

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Zen Builder: there are no special conditions for foreigners in the UK who want to open mobile phone contracts. Seems that not trusting foreigners is just part of the 'unique' Japanese culture.

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Taiko,

In the US, if you want to open a new account, you would usually require a Social Security Number (or T.I.N.), which are not always issued to every foreigner in the US. People who cannot pass the credit checks due to no SS# or TIN can always go for a "Phone on the Go" or a pre-paid account; however that would preclude one from being able purchase and use the iPhone, since I believe that only certain phones are available for the prepaid route. Also,until now, you HAD to sign up for a 2 year contract in order to purchase the iPhone. (now you can forego the 2 year contract, but that would cost you around US$400 for the unsubsidised iPhone).

Not trusting foreigners...unique?

Try getting a FOID card (firearms ownership identification card) in the US if you're not a citizen or permanent resident...

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movieguy:

That 80,000 Yen price tag was shocking to look at as one big number, but it's obvious they are subsidizing the cost of the iPhone and that's why they were able to have the price the same in Japan as it is in most countries.

By the time you've used it for one year, you'll have paid WAY MORE than 80,000 yen! Just not worth it. I'm not going to use it to surf to net 24/7.

sabinuki:

There are questions about it's long-term appeal as the Japanese version does not have a credit function (like SUICA for example) nor the "cute faces" functions,

Well, that's it! How on earth can I send emails if I can't get access to those cute faces.

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Taiko.

So ANYONE in england can walk into a shop sign up on a contract and has NO need to show ID, etc. So NO green card(or equivalent), Alien registraton card(same as green card), etc is needed?

I would assume that they atleast ask for a valid british ID or international passport.

I don't see such requirements as racism but good business sense, who will hand out contracts to someone that mighty not be around tomorrow to honour it.

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Here's a pretty funny opinion regarding the iPhone:

http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=iphone

Maddox is pretty funny. Crude, but funny.

Taka

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hongkong is a country?i don't think so!i don't think iphone is pretty good to use

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Movieguy:

It seems you are confusing private entities with government entities. Government entities are bound by constitutional law which protects and ensures the rights of us all. Corporations and private entities to the extent they do not receive funding from big brother, are free to form contracts with

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So how much is it PER MONTH? Also, if you're currently with another provider (KDDI), can you carry your number over? My b/f stated he wanted an iPhone really badly. And yeah, these restrictions for foreigners - whatever. I wouldn't call it racism, just business. I also wouldn't read much out of Japan Probe. They endorse Debito.

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whomever they choose. (Sorry for the prematurely sent message, my iBook is freaking out with all this anger about the iPhone)

It is not racism, but just good business.

You guys are complaining about 80,000 per year? You do not realize how good you have it in Japan. You would freak if I told you what I pay AT&T a month and I am perfectly happy with it.

The cool thing is once you are contracted in with them, unless it is written into the K, your prices are locked for the period of the K, and Apple keeps coming out with free upgrades all the time....

You guys are aware the iPhone has a GPS unit that works like a charm in Japan, (anyways mine did when I was there back in March) and will give step by step directions to any location.

You can now sync all of your email, calendar, and contacts (google and yahoo contacts included) automatically and remotely.

For example you meet someone at a cool restaurant or 飲み屋 and you enter it into your contacts on your iPhone, it will now automatically sync with your computer at home and at the office instantly, same for your calendar and schedule changes you want to make; change your schedule while you are riding on the train and your mates back at the office will know about it, provided each other's schedules are accessible....

So quit complaining about 80,000 and enjoy.

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Foid card: unless you are a resident of Illinois I would expect this card a hardsell.

Phone Gps: depends on line of sight to cell towers to triangulate your position = not as good as satellite Gps. You could easily be off 100s of meters with cell Gps.

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