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Apple overtakes Samsung as top U.S. mobile phone vendor for first time in Q4 2012

post #1 of 44
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A report published on Friday by market research firm Strategy Analytics said that Apple became the largest mobile phone vendor in the U.S. over the last quarter of 2012, surpassing Samsung in total units shipped for the first time in company history.

Vendor Estimates
Source: Strategy Analytics


The estimates from Strategy Analytics' Wireless Device Strategies service saw Apple ship 17.7 million units accounting for a record 34 percent of the market during the three months ending in December, enough to squeeze by Samsung's 32.3 percent share on 16.8 million shipments for the same period. In the fourth quarter of 2011, Apple was estimated to have shipped 12.8 million iPhones compared to Samsung's 13.5 million units.

Until quarter four, Samsung had been the prevailing U.S. market leader since 2008. It should be noted that the numbers account for both smartphones and so-called feature phones.

"Apple has become the number one mobile phone vendor by volume in the United States for the first time ever," said Strategy Analytics Executive Director Neil Mawston. "Apple?s success has been driven by its popular ecosystem of iPhones and App Store, generous carrier subsidies, and extensive marketing around the new iPhone 5 model."

Coming in behind Apple and Samsung was LG, which shipped 4.7 million mobile phones to capture a 9 percent share of the market, slightly down from 6.9 million units and a 14 percent share in 2011.

During Apple's quarterly conference call for the first quarter of 2013, it was revealed that iPhone sales stood at 47.8 million units worldwide, a 29 percent increase from the year ago quarter. Adding to the boosted sales was strong performance in the U.S., according to Apple's Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer, who noted that a number of government agencies, such as NASA, NOAA and the TSA, were issuing iPhones "by the thousands."

Overall, the research firm said customer demand for 4G smartphones and 3G feature phones spurred U.S. shipments to 52 million units, a 4 percent increase from last year's 50.2 million units. The strong performance in the holiday quarter wasn't enough to make up for nine months of market contraction, however, which resulted in an 11 percent decline from 186.8 million units in 2011 to 166.9 million units in 2012.
post #2 of 44
Apple overtakes Samsung as top U.S. mobile phone vendor for first time in Q4 2012??

Soon there will be headline "this news shows Apple faces limited growth as it overtakes Samsung , APPLE DIVED 7% today!!!!!!!!!!!"
Edited by crazy_mac_lover - 2/1/13 at 4:12am
post #3 of 44
Great, the stock is going to tank!

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post #4 of 44

But I thought Apple were doomed?

post #5 of 44

Android is winning®.

post #6 of 44

Something that might be of some concern is the mention of smartphone market contraction. Note that the total market increased only 4% over the holiday period compared to the previous year, and was down over the entire year. That a big reason that Apple sees China as so important. The US isn't going to be the driver for big iPhone revenue gains anymore

 

"Overall, the research firm said customer demand for 4G smartphones and 3G feature phones spurred U.S. shipments to 52 million units, a 4 percent increase from last year's 50.2 million units. The strong performance in the holiday quarter wasn't enough to make up for nine months of market contraction, however, which resulted in an 11 percent decline from 186.8 million units in 2011 to 166.9 million units in 2012."


Edited by Gatorguy - 2/1/13 at 3:35am
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post #7 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Something that might be of some concern is the mention of smartphone market contraction. Note that the total market increased only 4% over the holiday period compared to the previous year, and was down over the entire year. That a big reason that Apple sees China as so important. The US isn't going to be the driver for big iPhone revenue gains anymore

 

"Overall, the research firm said customer demand for 4G smartphones and 3G feature phones spurred U.S. shipments to 52 million units, a 4 percent increase from last year's 50.2 million units. The strong performance in the holiday quarter wasn't enough to make up for nine months of market contraction, however, which resulted in an 11 percent decline from 186.8 million units in 2011 to 166.9 million units in 2012."

It's time for iWatch.

post #8 of 44

Maybe Apple should start listing their book to bill ratios on their products.  I'm sure some of them are pretty high.

post #9 of 44

What's funny is that the Android fans that like to mislead people don't look at Geekbench tests, they are too busy looking at the specs on these websites.  It's all they have.  They like comparing apple's to oranges, (pun is unavoidable).  

post #10 of 44

All I have to say SaltWater is this.

 

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2013/02/01/apple-android-market-share/

 

Note this trends people that actually use their devices instead of guessing some fictional Android shipping number:

post #11 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Something that might be of some concern is the mention of smartphone market contraction. Note that the total market increased only 4% over the holiday period compared to the previous year, and was down over the entire year. That a big reason that Apple sees China as so important. The US isn't going to be the driver for big iPhone revenue gains anymore

 

"Overall, the research firm said customer demand for 4G smartphones and 3G feature phones spurred U.S. shipments to 52 million units, a 4 percent increase from last year's 50.2 million units. The strong performance in the holiday quarter wasn't enough to make up for nine months of market contraction, however, which resulted in an 11 percent decline from 186.8 million units in 2011 to 166.9 million units in 2012."

 

Now you've taken to concern trolling? I though straightforward shilling suited you better.

post #12 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Something that might be of some concern is the mention of smartphone market contraction. Note that the total market increased only 4% over the holiday period compared to the previous year, and was down over the entire year. That a big reason that Apple sees China as so important. The US isn't going to be the driver for big iPhone revenue gains anymore

As usual, you're misreading the data so that you can say negative things about Apple.

The data does not say that the smartphone market only grew by 4%. The data includes both smartphones AND feature phones (which Apple doesn't make). The total market declined for the year and only grew by 4% for the quarter, but it doesn't say how much of that was from smartphone and how much from feature phones. I am guessing that the number of smartphones grew faster than the number of feature phones.

Of course, if that WAS the real smartphone number, then Apple's massive iPhone sales last quarter ought to be even bigger news.
Edited by jragosta - 2/1/13 at 5:25am
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post #13 of 44
Irrelevant number, exept for the 'mine is bigger than yours' crowd.

All that matters is profitability.
post #14 of 44

That's just one quarter, still behind for the year, but it's a good sign. Go Apple!

post #15 of 44

Since Samsung doesn't provide shipped figures and Apple doesn't provide US only figures where are these numbers coming from?  Or are they just guesses like IDC?

post #16 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Since Samsung doesn't provide shipped figures and Apple doesn't provide US only figures where are these numbers coming from?  Or are they just guesses like IDC?

They're estimates from various sources.

What they fail to mention is that when Samsung was ordered to release actual sales figures in the Apple trial, the numbers were far lower than the estimates - and the analysts never changed their numbers or methodologies, so these numbers may be too high, as well.
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post #17 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


As usual, you're misreading the data so that you can say negative things about Apple.

The data does not say that the smartphone market only grew by 4%. The data includes both smartphones AND feature phones (which Apple doesn't make). The total market declined for the year and only grew by 4% for the quarter, but it doesn't say how much of that was from smartphone and how much from feature phones. I am guessing that the number of smartphones grew faster than the number of feature phones.

Of course, if that WAS the real smartphone number, then Apple's massive iPhone sales last quarter ought to be even bigger news.

 

 "As usual"  1rolleyes.gif

 

What previous year did US mobile phone sales fall YOY? Would you not consider that a concern to smartphone manufacturers dependent on the US for growth? If so, then I'm curious just what half of my comments you actually disagree with: The US won't be the major driver for iPhone revenue growth going forward, or China won't be increasingly important to Apple? You must think only Apple would be significantly affected by a flat US market to assume my post must have been anti-Apple. Why is that?

 

Seems to me this report piggybacks well with the recent notice from Samsung that they expect softness in mature markets such as the US. 

 

Anyway, the report did include the estimated US numbers for those that overlooked it:

"We estimate Apple shipped 17.7 million mobile phones for a record 34 percent share of the United States market in the fourth quarter of 2012. This was up sharply from 12.8 million units shipped and 25 percent share in Q4 2011....

 

Samsung shipped 16.8 million mobile phones in the United States, for 32 percent share, during Q4 2012."
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post #18 of 44

With the release of the iPhone 5, a great quarter for Apple without a doubt.  If they release a major upgrade to their phone every quarter and all the Apple faithful flock to it and buy it each quarter, they could probably sustainably stay on top.

post #19 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Something that might be of some concern is the mention of smartphone market contraction. Note that the total market increased only 4% over the holiday period compared to the previous year, and was down over the entire year. That a big reason that Apple sees China as so important. The US isn't going to be the driver for big iPhone revenue gains anymore

That's true but it's still nice to be leading in the developed markets because people have more money to spend on apps and content once they have the device.

post #20 of 44

These numbers are even more damning, because one Apple customer is probably worth at least 7.5 Android users. There's hardly any money to be made from Android users, and that's why it's funny when Fandroids always talk about "activations" and other unverifiable numbers in order to make themselves feel good. When the inferior junk can't even outsell a premium brand like Apple, then what will the devotees of cheap junk have now? Answer: Nothing.

post #21 of 44
At this point, anytime someone writes "market share" or similar terms, I have to totally ignore their comment as having any functionality. Apple is taking in over 70% of the PROFIT in the smartphone sector worldwide. So yeah, that must be a bad thing.

People seem to like Apple phones so much that even the iPhone 4 is selling very well. When was the last time that you ever heard anyone talk about buying a Samsung phone that was 3 generations old. (Plastic is good, newest is best-ist, buy a phone every year cause they don't last and besides, this one has some new - nearly worthless feature.)

Just a thought there.

And to Saltwater, if you were missing a "/s" then good article. If not, it was a pretty bad mishmash of blogged comments from Samsung trolls.. Just my thought.
post #22 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

 "As usual"  
1rolleyes.gif


What previous year did US mobile phone sales fall YOY? Would you not consider that a concern to smartphone manufacturers dependent on the US for growth? If so, then I'm curious just what half of my comments you actually disagree with: The US won't be the major driver for iPhone revenue growth going forward, or China won't be increasingly important to Apple? You must think only Apple would be significantly affected by a flat US market to assume my post must have been anti-Apple. Why is that?

Seems to me this report piggybacks well with the recent notice from Samsung that they expect softness in mature markets such as the US. 

Anyway, the report did include the estimated US numbers for those that overlooked it:

"We estimate Apple shipped 17.7 million mobile phones for a record 34 percent share of the United States market in the fourth quarter of 2012. This was up sharply from 12.8 million units shipped and 25 percent share in Q4 2011....


Samsung shipped 16.8 million mobile phones in the United States, for 32 percent share, during Q4 2012."

Once again, you're confusing "mobile phones" with "Smartphones".

The entire mobile phone market was down 4%. Apple only sells smartphones and they were up about 40%. This report doesn't indicate anything negative for Apple as you keep implying. It simply states that the market is switching from feature phones to smartphones.
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post #23 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


They're estimates from various sources.

What they fail to mention is that when Samsung was ordered to release actual sales figures in the Apple trial, the numbers were far lower than the estimates - and the analysts never changed their numbers or methodologies, so these numbers may be too high, as well.

"As usual" you're misstating the facts. 1wink.gif

 

What the court evidence referenced were numbers for those specific handsets that Apple included in it's complaint, and of course only those sold in the US.market. There were never any previously published estimate breakouts for that very specific set of handsets to compare to, so how could they be "much lower than estimates"?

 

There were a whole lotta handsets that weren't included in the court count.  It did not include many of the newer Samsung handsets then being sold in the US, nor even any that had been redesigned and rebadged to avoid Apple's claims. Sales numbers for handsets like the The Galaxy Note, Mini2, Ace Plus, Ace 2, Galaxy Beam, Galaxy S Advance and probably a few others weren't included. So it really didn't prove what you claim it did: That "the numbers were far lower than the estimates". 

 

It doesn't mean the estimates from IDC are accurate of course, but your argument also doesn't serve as proof they're not.

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post #24 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Once again, you're confusing "mobile phones" with "Smartphones".

The entire mobile phone market was down 4%. Apple only sells smartphones and they were up about 40%. This report doesn't indicate anything negative for Apple as you keep implying. It simply states that the market is switching from feature phones to smartphones.

Ah, so that's your only quibble. I inaccurately mentioned "smartphone contraction" in the first sentence, which you're absolutely correct to point out.

 

Other than that you agree with the rest of my comments. Apple will need to rely less on the US as a revenue increase driver for the iPhone and more on China?


Edited by Gatorguy - 2/1/13 at 6:32am
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post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

"As usual" you're misstating the facts. 1wink.gif

 

What the court evidence referenced were numbers for those specific handsets that Apple included in it's complaint, and of course only those sold in the US.market. There were never any previously published estimate breakouts for that very specific set of handsets to compare to, so how could they be "much lower than estimates"?

 

There were a whole lotta handsets that weren't included in the court count.  It did not include many of the newer Samsung handsets then being sold in the US, nor even any that had been redesigned and rebadged to avoid Apple's claims. Sales numbers for handsets like the The Galaxy Note, Mini2, Ace Plus, Ace 2, Galaxy Beam, Galaxy S Advance and probably a few others weren't included. So it really didn't prove what you claim it did: That "the numbers were far lower than the estimates". 

 

It doesn't mean the estimates from IDC are accurate of course, but your argument also doesn't serve as proof they're not.


This is true, however, the handsets that you listed (except for the Note) are on the low end of their line (smartphone-lite).  That would mean Apple has been going toe-to-toe in sales without even competing in many of the same realms (extreme low end).  That sounds pretty good to me.  Would I rather sell two million widgets at $100 each or one million widgets at $600?

 

Oh, and I am glad that you admit that Samsung copied some of Apple's designs and functions so closely that they had to "redesign and rebadge" to avoid claims against Apple.  I mean, if you're innocent, why change what you're doing?

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post #26 of 44

deleted


Edited by MacRulez - 7/5/13 at 3:09pm
post #27 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Ah, so that's your only quibble. I inaccurately mentioned "smartphone contraction" in the first sentence, which you're absolutely correct to point out.

 

Other than that you agree with the rest of my comments. Apple will need to rely less on the US as a revenue increase driver for the iPhone and more on China?


His explanation isn't smartphone contraction though.  It's actually feature phone contraction with smartphone growth.  Once there is a plateau of switchers from feature to smart and the overall market ceases to grow or contract, THEN you could say smartphone contraction.  Just because the overall market went down or stayed the same doesn't mean smartphone sales are shrinking or are stagnant.

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post #28 of 44
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post
The story would have been much more compelling if the last column were removed.

 

To you, yeah, because you enjoy everything that isn't Apple.

 

But with it there, we see that Apple nearly doubled shipments while Samsung went up one percent. And that Apple doubled marketshare while Samsung went up three percent.

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post #29 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by freckledbruh View Post

 

Oh, and I am glad that you admit that Samsung copied some of Apple's designs and functions so closely that they had to "redesign and rebadge" to avoid claims against Apple.  I mean, if you're innocent, why change what you're doing?

Heck, I said that months ago, and haven't ever written differently.  I've always been of the opinion Samsung strayed too close to Apple's iPhone look and marketing and said so in numerous forum posts. They deserved a court loss.

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post #30 of 44
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Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Heck, I said that months ago, and haven't ever written differently.  I've always been of the opinion Samsung strayed too close to Apple's iPhone look and marketing and said so in numerous forum posts. They deserved a court loss.


I apologize.  I had taken a hiatus from reading and posting months ago but I do remember a year or so ago where you didn't seem to think that.

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post #31 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Something that might be of some concern is the mention of smartphone market contraction. Note that the total market increased only 4% over the holiday period compared to the previous year, and was down over the entire year. That a big reason that Apple sees China as so important. The US isn't going to be the driver for big iPhone revenue gains anymore

 

"Overall, the research firm said customer demand for 4G smartphones and 3G feature phones spurred U.S. shipments to 52 million units, a 4 percent increase from last year's 50.2 million units. The strong performance in the holiday quarter wasn't enough to make up for nine months of market contraction, however, which resulted in an 11 percent decline from 186.8 million units in 2011 to 166.9 million units in 2012."

No, it is actually good for Apple.  It means Apple is taking market share from other makers not losing like the 'Market' is afraid.  

post #32 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by freckledbruh View Post


I apologize.  I had taken a hiatus from reading and posting months ago but I do remember a year or so ago where you didn't seem to think that.

I think you've mistakenly associated someone else's post(s) with mine.  I've never considered Samsung to be innocent. No biggie.

 

Anyway I personally believe that any contraction like that shown last year in US overall mobile phone sales should be and is a concern to the market players, Apple included.  I think that's a big reason for Apple's attention to China, and the numerous recent Apple comments and industry articles on the importance of China to Apple's future growth.

 

We'll see as the year goes on.


Edited by Gatorguy - 2/1/13 at 7:46am
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post #33 of 44
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Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

Android is winning®.

 

Ever since Steve died™.

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post #34 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I think you've mistakenly associated someone else's post(s) with mine.  I've never considered Samsung to be innocent. No biggie.

 

Anyway I personally believe that any contraction like that shown last year in US overall mobile phone sales should be and is a concern to the market players, Apple included.  I think that's a big reason for Apple's attention to China, and the numerous recent Apple comments and industry articles on the importance of China to Apple's future growth.

 

We'll see as the year goes on.


I agree that we will need to see how the next two years goes (I think a year wouldn't be a clear indicator) but that still wouldn't mean no growth for Apple as it has and is expanding onto regional carriers that was solely the realm of Android so there is much lunch to eat still in the US.

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post #35 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

The story would have been much more compelling if the last column were removed.
AI already removed the second part of Strategy Analytics comments, the one saying that Samsung should regain the top spot in 2013. Those are good quarter numbers in the US but they have largely if not all to do with a new iPhone release vs 6 months old high-end competitive handsets from Samsung.
Quote:
Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics said, "Apple's success has been driven by its popular ecosystem of iPhones and App Store, generous carrier subsidies, and extensive marketing around the new iPhone 5 model.
"Samsung had been the number one mobile phone vendor in the US since 2008, and it will surely be keen to recapture that title in 2013 by launching improved new models such as the rumored Galaxy S4."
post #36 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy_mac_lover View Post

Apple overtakes Samsung as top U.S. mobile phone vendor for first time in Q4 2012??

Soon there will be headline "this news shows Apple faces limited growth as it overtakes Samsung , APPLE DIVED 7% today!!!!!!!!!!!"

True to form, AAPL is down more than 1% right now.

Meanwhile, AMZN after reporting a full-year loss and results that are drastically worse than Apple's, is still riding a wave of P/E in the thousands. Oh, wait. The P/E is meaningless now since they lost money last year.
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post #37 of 44
Originally Posted by Sensi View Post
…the one saying that Samsung should regain the top spot in 2013.

 

English not your first language? "Be keen to" does not at all equal "should".

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post #38 of 44
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Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

English not your first language? "Be keen to" does not at all equal "should".

Beat me to it. I was about to mention that myself.

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post #39 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by eldernorm View Post

At this point, anytime someone writes "market share" or similar terms, I have to totally ignore their comment as having any functionality. Apple is taking in over 70% of the PROFIT in the smartphone sector worldwide. So yeah, that must be a bad thing.

People seem to like Apple phones so much that even the iPhone 4 is selling very well. When was the last time that you ever heard anyone talk about buying a Samsung phone that was 3 generations old. (Plastic is good, newest is best-ist, buy a phone every year cause they don't last and besides, this one has some new - nearly worthless feature.)

 

 

Still a great phone. My sister and dad use it heavily, and have never had a complaint. Sure it may struggle on intensive apps and doesn't support all iOS6 features, but for 90% of people it should still do what they want it to do. 

 

Oh, and I don't expect this to affect stock, except negatively. We all know the market doesn't care about positive Apple news. Everyone I know thinks that Apple is in deep trouble, or doing extremely poorly, by listening to the mainstream media. It's insane. 

post #40 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

 

 "As usual"  1rolleyes.gif

 

What previous year did US mobile phone sales fall YOY? Would you not consider that a concern to smartphone manufacturers dependent on the US for growth? If so, then I'm curious just what half of my comments you actually disagree with: The US won't be the major driver for iPhone revenue growth going forward, or China won't be increasingly important to Apple? You must think only Apple would be significantly affected by a flat US market to assume my post must have been anti-Apple. Why is that?

 

Seems to me this report piggybacks well with the recent notice from Samsung that they expect softness in mature markets such as the US. 

 

Anyway, the report did include the estimated US numbers for those that overlooked it:

"We estimate Apple shipped 17.7 million mobile phones for a record 34 percent share of the United States market in the fourth quarter of 2012. This was up sharply from 12.8 million units shipped and 25 percent share in Q4 2011....

 

Samsung shipped 16.8 million mobile phones in the United States, for 32 percent share, during Q4 2012."

 

 

I certainly don't think you are trolling, but the point others make is also relevant. Even if the report suggest the US phone market is contracting, that includes the US phone market as a whole. It doesn't separate feature phones from smart phones. It is possible that the feature phone market contracts (that Samsung participates in) while the smart phone market expands (that both Apple and Samsung participate in). 

 

I, however, think it obvious that Apple has a bigger opportunity for growth in China than the US. The market is more mature here in the US. Apple still can have growth through bringing in T-Mobile and by capturing people who go from feature phones to smartphones. It could also capture more of the prepaid market if it had a cheaper phone. China Mobile, however, has 700 million users. Apple doesn't have a deal yet with that carrier, Samsung does. That represents a tremendous growth opportunity for Apple, which probably is what all the rumors of a cheaper iPhone are about. 

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