The other day I changed my mobile carrier which necessitated a new SIM card. The pone is an iPhone 4.

While checking the usage on my phone co. website I noticed a strange number as the first entry where it said I had made an SMS call and my carrier charged $0.50. While the amount is only 50 cents I was intrigued as to who or what had made this SMS in my name.

The number SMS's was 011447786205094

Reverse look up did not help so I finally turned to Google. I had to remove the international code and country code and searched for this number: 7786205094

Bingo! Heaps of results. This site had the best explanation of this SMS

http://theiphonewiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Facetime

So apparently every time I turn Facetime on/off this SMS will be sent and I will be charged.  Everytime I change carriers (rarely) I will be charged. Some sites even say that every time I reboot this SMS will be sent. This I have to check.

So anyone using Facetime be warned - Do not simply turn it off and on as you will be charged every time.

I will come back with my results of rebooting.

Additionally the above page has a very interesting entry of how Big Brother Apple tracks your every movement without you knowing it. To quote:

How does Apples (FaceTime) Server know the IP Address of the 2nd (to be called) iPhone ?

Easy, every iPhone registers itself at Apple whenever Wifi is available ("calls" Home).

Basic Process:

  • iPhone senses Wifi Connection
  • iPhone gets IP Adress i.e. via DHCP
  • iPhone sends HTTP Request to www.apple.com/library/test/success.html
  • iPhone receives HTTP Response (HTML Page containing "Success" in the Body part - without hyphens)
  • iPhone knows it is connected to the Internet
  • (iPhone gets iphone-wu.apple.com/7day/v2/latest/lto2.dat) - this request is unrelated to FaceTime. It's used by location services to enable quick GPS fix ("lto" stands for long-term orbit).
  • iPhone contacts init.ess.apple.com
  • iPhone contacts EVIntl-aia.verisign.com/EVIntl2006.cer
  • iPhone joins Apples "Jabber" Server 17.149.36.99
  • Apple knows iPhones IP - this is used for FaceTime (and Push Notifications on iPod touchs)

Watch Out!

2 Responses to The Hidden Costs of 7786205094

  • Eric den Doop says:

    what about the ipad? Same big brother things?

    • Bernard Bout says:

      If you have an iPad2 with the sim card, then you can use Facetime, so the same thing about costs applies. Of course Facetime is only available on the iPad2 because it has cameras. So in your case, if you have an iPad1, then this cost does not apply.

      However the other point mentioned, where a verification from apple occurs whenever you connect to a new WiFi connection still applies. In this case all IOS users are affected.

      Another thing you may not know is that a database of every such event is stored on your device. Using certain tools and Google maps it is possible to read the database and plot your movements over a time period. Your wifi connections and (in the case of iPhone) whenever it connects to a different mobile tower – this is stored on your device. The tool will show dots on a google map for your movements over a time period. It is eerie to see this.

      This applies to a GSM iPad as well. No GSM then only Wifi connections are stored.

      Big Brother is watching you.

      Just google “iphone stores location information” and see.

      Check out http://petewarden.github.com/iPhoneTracker/

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