314w ago - Mobile phone company Orange has said 20% of customers who have bought iPhones from it in France have opted for unlocked ones. Orange sold the popular Apple product for 399 euros (£288) with a two-year contract, or 749 euros without one.
Elsewhere, mobile companies only sell iPhones to customers who take out network contracts with them. Orange sold 30,000 iPhones in the first five days, 20% of which were unlocked so they could be used on any network.
Orange says that 48% of people buying the phones were new customers for the network.
On Tuesday, a German court overturned an injunction that had forced T-Mobile to sell unlocked phones.
In the two weeks that the injunction was in place, T-Mobile sold unlocked iPhones for 999 euros, compared with 399 euros for a phone with a two-year contract. The company has not revealed how many unlocked phones it sold at that price but says it did sell some.
The exclusive agreements between Apple and mobile operators have caused controversy outside France, with software circulating online that claims to unlock the iPhone.
Apple has warned that hacking into the phone's software could render the phones "permanently inoperable" if software updates are downloaded.
315w ago - Next-Gen has learned that Redwood Shores-based Hudson Entertainment has laid off approximately half of its workforce.
All of the layoffs occurred within the company's mobile division this morning, according to a source who wished to remain anonymous.
"Their mobile division has not been profitable for about the last year-and-a-half or so," the source said. "They've just been having a lot of trouble getting their games onto big carriers like Verizon and Cingular. It's a very competitive market place."
He pegged Hudson Entertainment's workforce at around 50-70 people total, meaning layoffs ranged somewhere between 25 and 35.
The source said that Hudson Entertainment intended to bring original ideas to US carriers as well as port over mobile games from Japan, but those ideas were "shot down."
He said that missteps in marketing and management were also contributing factors that led to poor performance of the mobile division.
Workers laid off will receive two weeks of severance pay. Our source said that there are "lots of unhappy people" at Hudson Entertainment today.
"It seemed like it caught everyone off guard. They didn't see it coming," he said.
A call to Hudson Entertainment marketing director John Lee was unreturned as of press...
316w ago - That's right folks, wrap your minds around this – a phone that features Playstation buttons, has a Microsoft Windows operating system, and plays Nintendo games. Confused yet? How about the fact that the phone was made in "Koera" – No, that's not a typo, that's what is printed on the phone.
Sound to good to be true? That's because it is. The Chinese made phone is very much illegal, and will probably never make it across the ocean. Even still, one can't help but wonder what a phone with multiple emulators would be like. After doing a little research, I came up with an NES emulator for mobile phones called VNES, which claims to allow 8 bit Nintendo games to be playable on most newer series Nokia phones.
From a purely business standpoint, putting classic titles on cell phones seems like a no brainer. The arcady vibe of the late 80's made for a pick up and play experience that lends itself well to a portable platform. Even still, it may be a while before we can legitimately get our 8 bit mobile gaming on.
With the re-releasing a majority of it's hits on Virtual Console, it's doubtful Nintendo will part with the licensing rights to their classic games for anything less than an exorbitant amount of money.
316w ago - Is the Coolest Girl in School also the naughtiest?
If you want to sell lots of copies of a game, try to anger some loudmouthed family campaigners. That's the rule of thumb in the console industry, where shrill media scare often equals big sales.
We haven't seen the same thing happen in mobile yet (although that may change if a publisher takes a punt on our Crack-Fueled Illegal Immigrant House-Price-Collapse puzzle game - the Daily Mail won't be able to resist).
It's kicking off Down Under though, thanks to a game called Coolest Girl in School. The Family Association has condemned it for allegedly encouraging teenage girls to "take drugs and have sex".
According to spokesperson Angela Conway: "We know that media has adverse impacts on kids as it shows explicit sex and violence. We know that gaming also attempts to amplify impacts, this thing is combining the two."
We assume it's this game from Kukan Studio, produced with mobile content firm Champagne For The Ladies. Their own blurb describes it as "Grand Theft Auto for Girls", and promises:
"Experiment with fashion! Experiment with drugs! Experiment with your sexuality! Cut class! Spread rumors! But try to avoid dying of embarrassment - literally!"