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Apple secures iPhone.com for seven-figure sum -- report

post #1 of 30
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A last minute bid by Apple Inc. to acquire the iPhone.com domain ahead of the gadget's launch on Friday is reported to have netted its previous registrant a seven-digit sum.

Jay Westerdal of Name Intelligence claims in his company's DomainTools Blog that Apple has bought iPhone.com, reportedly taking control of the URL from domain owner Michael Kovatch for what could be "at least a million dollar sale."

Kovatch had registered the domain well before Apple chief Steve Jobs' return to his company, signing up for the address in 1995 and in more recent years using the site for an online cellphone store dubbed The Internet Phone Company. This gave him the legal right to use the site and to turn down Apple's offer -- which he initially did, according to Westerdal. The owner was reportedly motivated by serious interest in using the site for profit.

"He was holding out because he truly wanted to use the domain," Westerdal said. "He considered not selling at the very end, [as] he had registered the domain back in 1995 and was building a company on the domain."

And Apple's January 2007 introduction of a device named the iPhone was largely beneficial, Kovatch allegedly told the Name Intelligence blogger. Site visits had grown dramatically since the phone's announcement, granting iPhone.com's then-owner far greater exposure. Apple's interest in the domain, however, is said to have been extremely high as the link between the product and the site was considered virtually necessary.

"That domain was so valuable that Apple just had to own it," Westerdal wrote. "The headaches would have just compounded [the situation] had they not owned the domain."

While the exact conditions of the purported sale were not disclosed, the seven-digit price would make the purchase one of the largest of its kind, rivaling the well-known Sex.com and similarly easy-to-remember addresses in terms of its obvious appeal.

Although the details of negotiations and the resulting financial compensation remain unconfirmed, a check of the ownership for iPhone.com confirms that its domain name servers belong to Apple and that ownership of the site was transferred at the last minute, reaching the iPhone maker through the domain registrar outlet GoDaddy on June 29th.
post #2 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"He considered not selling at the very end, [as] he had registered the domain back in 1995 and was building a company on the domain."

Yeah. I wonder how long he thought about that....
post #3 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post

I think I'm going to just start buying all future domain names that could be potential products from Apple.

I think you might be a little late to join the domain name game.
post #4 of 30
I think I'm going to just start buying all future domain names that could be potential products from Apple.
"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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post #5 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I don't know if the rules changed, but I can't believe such a sum was paid. Those using the trademarks of others as a domain name usually didn't have much of a leg to stand on. For example, even if your given name was Barbie, I think Mattel sued her or her parents out of barbie.com.


It's not like he just went and got the domain in january, he's had it before there was 'i' anything from apple. He made a good business decision holding out.
post #6 of 30
I don't know if the rules changed, but I can't believe such a sum was paid. Those using the trademarks of others as a domain name usually didn't have much of a leg to stand on. For example, even if your given name was Barbie, I think Mattel sued her or her parents out of barbie.com.
post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkingDifferent View Post

I think you might be a little late to join the domain name game.

Obviously.

You knew exactly what I was going to say before I even said it!
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"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I don't know if the rules changed, but I can't believe such a sum was paid. Those using the trademarks of others as a domain name usually didn't have much of a leg to stand on. For example, even if your given name was Barbie, I think Mattel sued her or her parents out of barbie.com.

I think he was allowed since he registered it so long ago. 1995 was before even the imac, wasn't it?
post #9 of 30
Indeed it was, the iMac came out in 1997.

1995 was really the very begining of the internet. Many domains back then were given out free too...
post #10 of 30
I wonder if they want to pay me a 7 figure sum for www(dot)apple-tv(dot)com
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #11 of 30
Why are posts on this site always out of order??
17" i7 Macbook Pro (Mid 2010), Mac Mini (early 2006), G3 B&W, G3 Beige Tower, 3 G3 iMacs (original, bondi, snow), Power Mac 7600/132, Power Mac 7100/100, Power Mac 6100/60, Performa 5280, Performa...
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17" i7 Macbook Pro (Mid 2010), Mac Mini (early 2006), G3 B&W, G3 Beige Tower, 3 G3 iMacs (original, bondi, snow), Power Mac 7600/132, Power Mac 7100/100, Power Mac 6100/60, Performa 5280, Performa...
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post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeTheRock View Post

Why are posts on this site always out of order??

Well, either people think its funny to edit their posts to reply to people below them or the site sucks... Alternatively, there's a rift in space-time.
post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by eAi View Post

Well, either people think its funny to edit their posts to reply to people below them or the site sucks... Alternatively, there's a rift in space-time.


The servers have been quirky lately.


They are Windoze based.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #14 of 30
Just curious, why would APPLE insider use a Windows server? Seems to kinda contradict the whole purpose of the site.
post #15 of 30
The site is hosted by vBulletin (check the bottom of your screen); they seem to use Windoze.

AI, I am guessing, has a contract with them that is currently being a bit stressed (this has been going on for a little while).

I don't know any of this for sure...

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

The site is hosted by vBulletin (check the bottom of your screen); they seem to use Windoze.

VB is the forum engine. AI is hosted with IntuitiveISP as far as I know.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #17 of 30
All I know for sure is it says way down there: "Powered by vBulletin". What that means as far as machines, I have no clue. Just guessing.

Somewhere, the threads and posts have been getting scrambled timewise (sometimes creating very interesting continuity problems!

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #18 of 30
That is as funny as all the Vista ads that I see on Mac sites.
post #19 of 30
... were sparring for the iPhone moniker?

Well, a quick "whois iphone.net" at the terminal gives an interesting tidbit:

Cisco owns the iphone.net domain. Creation date 28-Jan-1998, record last updated 20 minutes ago.

Hmm, wish I'd whois'ed it about an hour sooner. Anyone know who had this domain before, assuming it was an ownership change that just occurred?
post #20 of 30
My company had ownership of, and were using for several years a domain which the UK government decided they wanted (it was a .co.uk domain and not a .gov or .gov.uk domain). They raised a domain dispute with Nominet and took it off us. Although we had a very good argument for use, Nominet sided with the governments weak argument and gave them our domain name. It cost us well over £10k to find a new domain name, rebrand and losses due to down time, yet we didn't get a penny in reimbursement. I think Apple would have had no problem taking the dispute to court, I think they were very generous in paying out top dollar for iPhone.com.
post #21 of 30
Apple should have acquired that domain name before deciding to use the name iPhone. Before the Apple phone rumors, an anonymous buyer would have been able to buy that domain for one tenth of whatever Apple paid now. Apple has just been wasting its money here.
post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTT View Post

Apple should have acquired that domain name before deciding to use the name iPhone. Before the Apple phone rumors, an anonymous buyer would have been able to buy that domain for one tenth of whatever Apple paid now. Apple has just been wasting its money here.

The year is 2005. You get a letter from a legal firm asking if you would like to sell your domain name - iphone.com - to their client. Hmmmm - you think to yourself. I wonder who their anonymous client could be?

Let's see - we have the iPod, iMac, iTunes and they are all famous trademarks owned by Apple. I wonder if they could be the buyer after my domain name?

Naaaah - couldn't be, everyone knows Apple don't do phones. Sure, whoever they are can have it for 10k.


In your and Apple's dreams!
post #23 of 30
Actually I thought it would have been more than $1 mill. He could have got 2 and even more IMHO. If you think it's crazy then you obviously haven't sold a popular TLD.

And to compare the sex.com sale with a domain sale in 2007 is strange. If sex.com went on the market today it would go for more than iPhone.com. I think that guy lost out on a higher bid no matter what you may have read.
post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

All I know for sure is it says way down there: "Powered by vBulletin". What that means as far as machines, I have no clue. Just guessing.

Somewhere, the threads and posts have been getting scrambled timewise (sometimes creating very interesting continuity problems!

The time problems have been happening since the WWDC keynote, because of the server load.

Frankly, "just guessing" doesn't cut it. Don't blame something because of fanboyism.

It is NOT windows:

http://toolbar.netcraft.com/site_rep...pleinsider.com

I'm a member of another forum that used vBulliten at one time, they had to switch away because it had maintenance and stability issues. I don't think it was designed for this load.
post #25 of 30
The PDA phones have been about along while now all with touchscreen tech. and each new one has improved sencitivity. I got no doubts that the iphone will let us down. Ive hear that there will be 5 colours aswell. Exciting stuff

http://www.mp4-converter.net/iphone-...dvd-to-iphone/
post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackie113 View Post

The PDA phones have been about along while now all with touchscreen tech. and each new one has improved sencitivity. I got no doubts that the iphone will let us down. Ive hear that there will be 5 colours aswell. Exciting stuff

(URL removed)

No thanks on the link spam. Please go away.
post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcg3d View Post

... were sparring for the iPhone moniker?

Well, a quick "whois iphone.net" at the terminal gives an interesting tidbit:

Cisco owns the iphone.net domain. Creation date 28-Jan-1998, record last updated 20 minutes ago.

Hmm, wish I'd whois'ed it about an hour sooner. Anyone know who had this domain before, assuming it was an ownership change that just occurred?

The database gets updated all the time, it is not the domain modification date.

You should read the last updated information as "as of this date"

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post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I don't know if the rules changed, but I can't believe such a sum was paid. Those using the trademarks of others as a domain name usually didn't have much of a leg to stand on. For example, even if your given name was Barbie, I think Mattel sued her or her parents out of barbie.com.

I know I may just be a cat, but I think that only applies if the domain name owner has not built up an indepedent business without knowledge of the trademark. This guy developed iphone.com without willfull infringement, and before the iPhone trademark by either Cisco or Apple had been established, so that's why he had a one million dollar leg to stand on.
post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duddits View Post

I know I may just be a cat, but I think that only applies if the domain name owner has not built up an indepedent business without knowledge of the trademark. This guy developed iphone.com without willfull infringement, and before the iPhone trademark by either Cisco or Apple had been established, so that's why he had a one million dollar leg to stand on.

You took the words out of my mouth. The guy obviously wasn't cybersquatting as he'd had the domain for over 10 years and was running a legitimate business with it. He just happened to get lucky. Nothing wrong with that IMO.
 
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post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

You took the words out of my mouth. The guy obviously wasn't cybersquatting as he'd had the domain for over 10 years and was running a legitimate business with it. He just happened to get lucky. Nothing wrong with that IMO.


Maybe he should sue Apple and Cisco for infringing on HIS business!
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