News has hit digg that Apple receives iPod Touch / iPhone IMEI numbers when someone queries the Calculator, Stocks, or Weather applications on the aforementioned devices. What I am about to tell you might be too harsh, but consider it fueled by the thousands of comments streaming in about “… fanboys justifying this …” and “if Microsoft did this!…”.
Operators of cellphone networks use IMEI numbers, or model-specific serial numbers, to track subscriptions, usage, and identity of devices on the network. It’s in the specification for GSM and UMTS. You IMEI is transmitted at every communication with every cell tower in your vicinity. And now people are crying wolf that Apple might or might not service you Weather and Stocks if your IMEI number isn’t valid? Ladies and gentlemen, this is a standard part of a standardized specification that is over 20 years old. Get over it.