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Carriers' threats force Apple to abandon embedded iPhone SIM plans

post #1 of 92
Thread Starter 
After carriers threatened to stop offering subsidies for the iPhone, Apple has reportedly abandoned its plans to create an embedded SIM card that would allow users to choose and switch carriers more easily.

According to The Telegraph, Apple has given up on its plans to bypass carriers. One source told the U.K. publication that Apple was "sent back to the drawing board with their tails between their legs."

While Apple has reportedly abandoned its plans for embedded SIM cards in the iPhone, it will allegedly push ahead with that technology for the iPad. The publication claimed that Apple could offer a new iPad with an integrated SIM card before Christmas, or early next year.

However, the report also incorrectly said that a "new version" of the iPad will be released within a few weeks, and will turn the orientation lock switch on the right side of the device into a mute switch. This change will not be done with a "new" device, but rather the forthcoming iOS 4.2 software update for existing first-generation iPads.

In October, it was reported that Apple was developing an open SIM card that would allow users to shop for mobile carriers directly from the Apple Store. The integrated card would allegedly allow iPhone buyers to activate their service without having to call or visit a mobile carrier.

In addition to allowing users to select a carrier right from their phone, a programmable integrated SIM would also enable users to travel the globe and initiate service without having to obtain a unique SIM card for each carrier in a different country.

But last week reports began to emerge that European carriers were threatening Apple that they would cut subsidies if a new iPhone with an embedded SIM card were released. Carriers accused Apple of trying to gain control of customers, essentially marginalizing the role carriers play with iPhone users.
post #2 of 92
Hahahahahaha. Chicken apple.
post #3 of 92
I would think the EU would be all over this protecting the rights of consumers, blah blah blah.
post #4 of 92
It's been hard to tell what Apple has been up to for a long time. Three days ago I read an article about European carriers threatening (internally only) to stop subsidising the iPhone should Apple release an embedded SIM version. Now according to The Telegraph (which more than likely is just trying to sell subscriptions, truth be damned!) Apple has been sent back to the drawing board.

BS.

Someone's just trying to make a buck off the old rumor mill.
post #5 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

After carriers threatened to stop offering subsidies for the iPhone, Apple has reportedly abandoned its plans to create an embedded SIM card that would allow users to choose and switch carriers more easily...

This is a pretty weak article.

One person, at a carrier no less, tells a dodgy British newspaper that Apple has "failed" at this, and we are supposed to just believe it?

Also, the source article not only completely misrepresents the technology in question (which could easily be implemented *without* giving Apple or the consumer excessive control over the carriers), the last paragraph of the article announces that a new iPad model "is expected to be released within few weeks." Yeah, right.

The source article is questionable at best, and written by someone who doesn't know squat about iPads, software, etc. It's probably based on a simple phone call from someone "in the know" (they think) at one of the carriers to some dumb-ass reporter who just laps it up. Said reporter doesn't seem to know the difference between a software update and a new device. I wouldn't take this rumour to the bank.
post #6 of 92
So where's the ever-vigilant anti-trust enforcers from the EU? Sounds to me like this is blatant anti-competitive collusion on the part of the carriers and that the big loser is the consumer. If the EU anti-trust authorities are really about anti-trust (as opposed to protecting European companies and attacking American companies), then they should step in here.

I'm not holding my breath.
post #7 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sofabutt View Post

It's been hard to tell what Apple has been up to for a long time. Three days ago I read an article about European carriers threatening (internally only) to stop subsidising the iPhone should Apple release an embedded SIM version. Now according to The Telegraph (which more than likely is just trying to sell subscriptions, truth be damned!) Apple has been sent back to the drawing board.

BS.

Someone's just trying to make a buck off the old rumor mill.

This is what I'm thinking as well, this story sounds suspect... \
post #8 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

This is a pretty weak article.

One person, at a carrier no less, tells a dodgy British newspaper that Apple has "failed" at this, and we are supposed to just believe it?

the last paragraph of the article announces that a new iPad model "is expected to be released within few weeks." Yeah, right.

The whole thing sounded weak to begin with, but the idea that the iPad 2 could be released within a few weeks when Black Friday is in 5 days clenches this as complete BS.
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post #9 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

So where's the ever-vigilant anti-trust enforcers from the EU? Sounds to me like this is blatant anti-competitive collusion on the part of the carriers and that the big loser is the consumer. If the EU anti-trust authorities are really about anti-trust (as opposed to protecting European companies and attacking American companies), then they should step in here.

Wow, having one single datapoint, Microsoft, you determine that the EU anti-trust authorities, 'only' attack American companies and no European ones. I think America should be thankful to have such a great mind and logical thinker like you among its citizens. America can only become even more successful with such great intellectual capabilities.
post #10 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

So where's the ever-vigilant anti-trust enforcers from the EU? Sounds to me like this is blatant anti-competitive collusion on the part of the carriers and that the big loser is the consumer. If the EU anti-trust authorities are really about anti-trust (as opposed to protecting European companies and attacking American companies), then they should step in here.

I'm not holding my breath.

Blah Blah. The EU, I suspect, doesn't work on rumours. At any rate, I don't see any collusion. iPhone is only one many 'American' handsets on the market.
post #11 of 92
That was a dream come true for me. I wish if carrier companies could be controlled. I fully support Apple in their thoughts but I know lots of barriers. All I would say, Apple, go ahead and just do it. I love the idea of embedded sims.
post #12 of 92
I don't think its realistic to think Apple even thinks of integrating the SIM into the device.
And if they do, they are braindamaged.

see this blog and you understand why
http://a-fink.blogspot.com/2010/11/i...in-iphone.html
post #13 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehan View Post

That was a dream come true for me. I wish if carrier companies could be controlled. I fully support Apple in their thoughts but I know lots of barriers. All I would say, Apple, go ahead and just do it. I love the idea of embedded sims.

you misunderstand the concept of SIM's. The SIM is what gives you the freedom. Integrating it locks you down.
post #14 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi66 View Post

you misunderstand the concept of SIM's. The SIM is what gives you the freedom. Integrating it locks you down.

Funny, I take it as opposite.
post #15 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehan View Post

That was a dream come true for me. I wish if carrier companies could be controlled. I fully support Apple in their thoughts but I know lots of barriers. All I would say, Apple, go ahead and just do it. I love the idea of embedded sims.

Mark my words, it will happen and the cellphone market will be better for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi66 View Post

I don't think its realistic to think Apple even thinks of integrating the SIM into the device.
And if they do, they are braindamaged.

see this blog and you understand why
<removed>

1) They have thought of it, just as GSMA as also thought of it.
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...fid_sales.html
2) Please dont use this forum to promote your blog site.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi66 View Post

you misunderstand the concept of SIM's. The SIM is what gives you the freedom. Integrating it locks you down.

You misunderstand the concept of SIM. Apple and GSMA are not colluding to removing the SIM from devices, they are working on removing the need for a physical SIM card that takes up a great deal of space for its data size and functionality, and is a potential weak point for engineering. All this does is make it integrated, not disappear. Instead of having multiple SIM cards you have swap in and out, youd just use BT, NFC, or manual input to put in the 20 digit code that you can then switch easily via your settings.
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post #16 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Mark my words, it will happen and the cellphone market will be better for it.


1) They have thought of it, just as GSMA as also thought of it.
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...fid_sales.html
2) Please dont use this forum to promote your blog site.



You misunderstand the concept of SIM. Apple and GSMA are not colluding to removing the SIM from devices, they are working on removing the need for a physical SIM card that takes up a great deal of space for its data size and functionality, and is a potential weak point for engineering. All this does is make it integrated, not disappear. Instead of having multiple SIM cards you have swap in and out, youd just use BT, NFC, or manual input to put in the 20 digit code that you can then switch easily via your settings.

Hmmmm +1
post #17 of 92
As AT&T has proved -- carriers NEED the iPhone...

An embedded SIM makes a lot of sense and would enable further miniaturization, except that Apple could control the options of which carriers you can use -- in Asia, you can get SIM cards from vending machines and enable your phone for service instantly -- that would be impossible with embedded SIMs if Apple restricts choices like they do today.

What I WISH Apple would abandon is the NFC/RFID Spy Chips!

Read:
http://spychips.com

Watch the free documentary movie: America: Freedom To Fascism: http://freedomtofascism.com
post #18 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slang4Art View Post

I would think the EU would be all over this protecting the rights of consumers, blah blah blah.

In the UK, the subsidy is much higher than in the US, so Apple has a lot more to lose there and consumers are already better off.

For example Vodaphone offers the iPhone 4 for free, with a £45 a month plan for 2 years(so £1080 all in for 2 years).

On AT&T, same phone costs $199 up front, then $75 a month for an equivalent plan for 2 years, which is a total cost of $2,000.

So you can see that hammering the carriers in Europe (or at least in the UK) is a poke in the eye for everyone, especially considering in the U.S. there is only ONE carrier that offers the iPhone. All this bitching about the EU causing issues is a bit rich, when it's here where we're being screwed (as usual).

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post #19 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

This is a pretty weak article.

One person, at a carrier no less, tells a dodgy British newspaper that Apple has "failed" at this, and we are supposed to just believe it?

The Telegraph, dodgy? OK, it's a right-wing establishment newspaper, but it's not exactly the Sun, or the Daily Mail or Fox News now, is it?

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post #20 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post

As AT&T has proved -- carriers NEED the iPhone...

An embedded SIM makes a lot of sense and would enable further miniaturization, except that Apple could control the options of which carriers you can use -- in Asia, you can get SIM cards from vending machines and enable your phone for service instantly -- that would be impossible with embedded SIMs if Apple restricts choices like they do today.

That’s the rub, it doesn’t change a dang thing for the consumer. Apple already works with carriers to lock the device to a particular carrier wherever and whenever it best for them.

For example, in the US on AT&T the iPhone has a physical SIM but I can’t simply put a T-Mobile USA SIM card in to get GSM service on the device or get GSM/UMTS service with any number of SIMs from various countries and carriers in Europe. It doesn’t work that way.

You still need to unlock the device for SIM swapping to work. Again, this would only alter the way you’d get the SIM data into the device, not decimate the need for SIMs altogether.
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post #21 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

Wow, having one single datapoint, Microsoft, you determine that the EU anti-trust authorities, 'only' attack American companies and no European ones. I think America should be thankful to have such a great mind and logical thinker like you among its citizens. America can only become even more successful with such great intellectual capabilities.

I didn't say anything about Microsoft.
post #22 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post

The Telegraph, dodgy? OK, it's a right-wing establishment newspaper, but it's not exactly the Sun, or the Daily Mail or Fox News now, is it?

They have great photographs every week.
https://twitter.com/TelegraphPics
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post #23 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

Blah Blah. The EU, I suspect, doesn't work on rumours. At any rate, I don't see any collusion. iPhone is only one many 'American' handsets on the market.

How is it not collusion when the carriers all get together and declare that they will collectively punish apple for selling a product?
post #24 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post

In the UK, the subsidy is much higher than in the US, so Apple has a lot more to lose there and consumers are already better off.

For example Vodaphone offers the iPhone 4 for free, with a £45 a month plan for 2 years(so £1080 all in for 2 years).

On AT&T, same phone costs $199 up front, then $75 a month for an equivalent plan for 2 years, which is a total cost of $2,000.

So you can see that hammering the carriers in Europe (or at least in the UK) is a poke in the eye for everyone, especially considering in the U.S. there is only ONE carrier that offers the iPhone. All this bitching about the EU causing issues is a bit rich, when it's here where we're being screwed (as usual).

Things may or may not be better for consumers in Europe; that's subjective. My point wasn't to compare the state of the US vs the state of Europe in terms of customer satisfaction but rather to illustrate that it is funny how the EU is all over Apple when it comes to standardizing a charger or implementing volume warnings into their OS, but when an actual issue emerges, assuming this article has any truth, they lick the hand that feeds.

Politics are politics.

Hope all you fine folks are boycotting the airlines this holiday.

Cheers!
post #25 of 92
I never understood this rumour.

Firstly, the iPhone did most of this damage from day 1, where the carrier cannot make changes or brand the phone in any way. The carrier became a carrier only, not a supplier of phones. Even if they supplied the phone they had no special place.

But mainly, why do you need any kind of sim to lock someone in. If a carrier says I can have the phone at a subsidised price, IF I sign contract, who cares what the sim is?

I am locked in by the contract, in which I agree to remain with the carrier for the contract period, paying the contracted amount. Sure, I can take the phone elsewhere and keep paying off the contract, but they don't care about that either.

So that's my main issue, you're locked in by a legal contract, what else matters?
post #26 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

They have great photographs every week.
https://twitter.com/TelegraphPics

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/pict...au-Prince.html

Yep.

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post #27 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slang4Art View Post

Things may or may not be better for consumers in Europe; that's subjective.

I am not sure what is subjective about having more choice, at a lower cost?

Quote:
My point wasn't to compare the state of the US vs the state of Europe in terms of customer satisfaction but rather to illustrate that it is funny how the EU is all over Apple when it comes to standardizing a charger or implementing volume warnings into their OS, but when an actual issue emerges, assuming this article has any truth, they lick the hand that feeds.

Cheers!

Like any bureaucracy, the EU takes an age to respond to anything - they'll probably look at this in about 4 years time. But come on, let's be fair here... the regulators here (in the US) had a tizzy-fit when Google Voice was excluded from the iPhone, but don't seem to give a crap about the virtual monopolies of ISPs and Cable-TV providers around the country. It all depends on who's paying your salary... in the EU, it's the taxpayers, so they get looked after. Here it's the corps, so they get looked after.

Economics is economics.

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post #28 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by dangermouse View Post

I never understood this rumour.
[]
So that's my main issue, you're locked in by a legal contract, what else matters?

For some shortsighted customers I think its the perception of control, because they can physically alter something, even though it gives them no less control than they had before, and likely more if they have an unlocked version of this device.
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post #29 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post

I am not sure what is subjective about having more choice, at a lower cost?



Like any bureaucracy, the EU takes an age to respond to anything - they'll probably look at this in about 4 years time. But come on, let's be fair here... the regulators here (in the US) had a tizzy-fit when Google Voice was excluded from the iPhone, but don't seem to give a crap about the virtual monopolies of ISPs and Cable-TV providers around the country. It all depends on who's paying your salary... in the EU, it's the taxpayers, so they get looked after. Here it's the corps, so they get looked after.

Economics is economics.

You get taxed out the nose on basically everything in Europe. Worse so than even in the US. The subsidy may be better for this particular product, but in general, electronic goods are more expensive in Europe. I'd also be interested in knowing the price of the actual plans compared to AT&T.

Aside from that, I don't consider CDMA an option, so it's basically a choice between T-Mobile and AT&T in the US for me. T-Mobile is home to some of the worst customer service I've ever experienced.

If you are really naive enough to believe the taxpayers are looked after, then by all means, give more of your paycheck to Obama.
post #30 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Thats the rub, it doesnt change a dang thing for the consumer. Apple already works with carriers to lock the device to a particular carrier wherever and whenever it best for them.

For example, in the US on AT&T the iPhone has a physical SIM but I cant simply put a T-Mobile USA SIM card in to get GSM service on the device or get GSM/UMTS service with any number of SIMs from various countries and carriers in Europe. It doesnt work that way.

You still need to unlock the device for SIM swapping to work. Again, this would only alter the way youd get the SIM data into the device, not decimate the need for SIMs altogether.

That's why I don't understand the reasons given for the carriers being against it. I don't see why they would really care. With or without an integrated SIM, it is still and SIM. The phones will still be carrier locked if the contract between Apple and the carriers says it is to be locked. In Canada, where we have multiple carriers selling the iPhone, it is already the case that you can walk into an Apple store and buy an iPhone locked to a specific carrier of your choice. The Apple store stocks SIM for all the carriers. So, whether they insert a SIM for a carrier or initialize the integrated SIM for a specific carrier, the direct interaction with the carrier and customer at point of sale is already gone when a customer does their business at an Apple store.

The reasons given for the carriers opposing it make no sense at all. Makes me doubt there is a story at all. Either Apple will do it or the won't. I don't really think the carrier will care, other than they might have to implement the new activation process in their own retail locations, which might have some expense.

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post #31 of 92
My god -- if only Apple could actually make carrier and plan selection so simple... never having to deal with a carrier directly would be so very much better than the crap we have to put up with currently (idiot commissioned sales people, side and special deals on whims of said idiots, incorrect billing, inability to easily switch carriers when travelling, and resulting obscene roaming charges, etc., etc., etc.)

Oh well, personally I'll just stick with wi-fi aside from phone calls, until the carrier system starts to make some sort of sense (I'm not holding my breath, but nice to hear Apple may be trying to help fix the system).

Then again, some countries (the US comes to mind) still only have a single iPhone carrier, so I guess this wouldn't be as major a change.
post #32 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Hahahahahaha. Chicken apple.

Apple's actually pretty damn fearless - as leaders tend to be. But you can lose your advantage tilting at too many windmills. They'll retrench and bide their time, then try this tack again from a position of greater strength... as Apple has been known to do.

I remember well when the big cell carriers felt they held all the cards in the mobile game. That's slowly turning around to favor the device maker. That is - ONE device maker. But we're not quite there yet.
post #33 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

I didn't say anything about Microsoft.

No, but it is the company which has got the most press about EU anti-trust measures, so it must have the driving force behind your comment. And since you strongly implied that no European companies have been targeted by the EU anti-trust activities, you clearly do not know much about them.

The EU's search tool is under maintenance this weekend so only older cases are available but just to pick the cases closed in the year 1998:
http://ec.europa.eu/competition/anti...1990.html#1998
No, tell me again that there are no European companies among these.
post #34 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slang4Art View Post

You get taxed out the nose on basically everything in Europe. Worse so than even in the US. The subsidy may be better for this particular product, but in general, electronic goods are more expensive in Europe. I'd also be interested in knowing the price of the actual plans compared to AT&T.

It really depends where in Europe to be honest. In the UK, income tax is lower than in the US overall, but there is a consumption tax (VAT) which we don't have in the US - this is just about the only modern country not to have a VAT (although some states apply sales tax).

I put the pricing of an actual plan in my first post, £45 a month for 2,000 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB of data.


Quote:
If you are really naive enough to believe the taxpayers are looked after, then by all means, give more of your paycheck to Obama.

Oh god, you're one of them. Conversation over...

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post #35 of 92
Post deleted by Yavanna. She mis-read and was wrong.
post #36 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi66 View Post

I don't think its realistic to think Apple even thinks of integrating the SIM into the device.
And if they do, they are braindamaged.

see this blog and you understand why
http://a-fink.blogspot.com/2010/11/i...in-iphone.html

Well that link just contained visionless twaddle.
post #37 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

While Apple has reportedly abandoned its plans for embedded SIM cards in the iPhone, it will allegedly push ahead with that technology for the iPad.

The iPad makes more sense. It's not on contract (usually) and as such isn't subsidised. The ability for Apple to sell it and control the SIM card would be useful.

Quote:
In addition to allowing users to select a carrier right from their phone, a programmable integrated SIM would also enable users to travel the globe and initiate service without having to obtain a unique SIM card for each carrier in a different country.

If Apple could help people who enter another country to easily purchase prepaid data on the local carrier, that would be very powerful. Data roaming is very expensive at present.

Imagine arriving in Germany, and your iPad automatically becomes a T-mobile device and offers a page to pay for 1GB of data (direct from your iTunes account perhaps?). If it tethers to your laptop it'll be even more effective.
post #38 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post

The iPad makes more sense. It's not on contract (usually) and as such isn't subsidised. The ability for Apple to sell it and control the SIM card would be useful.



If Apple could help people who enter another country to easily purchase prepaid data on the local carrier, that would be very powerful. Data roaming is very expensive at present.

Imagine arriving in Germany, and your iPad automatically becomes a T-mobile device and offers a page to pay for 1GB of data (direct from your iTunes account perhaps?). If it tethers to your laptop it'll be even more effective.


This was what I was thinking as well.
post #39 of 92
The reporter doesn't know the difference between the release of a new device, and the release of new software supporting a range of devices. Given this factual error, how many other factual errors is there!?!

Embedded SIMs are the future, and carriers will be powerless to stop them from becoming reality.

Really, what is the fuss about? The ability to switch a phone from one network to another. Even a network locked phone can be unlocked with ease.

Providers will still be able to tie customers to a long term financial committment with high subsidies. Just because you can switch the phone to another network doesn't void a legally binding contract that you will pay the carrier the agreed tariff until the end of the contract.

SIM cards are old tech, long due to be consigned to history. It is like viewing cards in set top boxes. There are now solutions that don't require a physical card that work just as well, but without the logistical headache.

SIM cards - R.I.P.
post #40 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post

It really depends where in Europe to be honest. In the UK, income tax is lower than in the US overall, but there is a consumption tax (VAT) which we don't have in the US - this is just about the only modern country not to have a VAT (although some states apply sales tax).

I put the pricing of an actual plan in my first post, £45 a month for 2,000 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB of data.




Oh god, you're one of them. Conversation over...

One of them? You mean, one of those folks that enjoy liberty and privacy? My god, how ridiculous. Perhaps it may relieve some of the chafing of your undergarments to know that I dislike all parties and have no affiliation to any politician or organization. Obama is just an easy target because he over-promised in a way that no other president ever has and has truly failed to keep any of his promises or represent the people of this country whatsoever. He has, however, raised my taxes and allowed the TSA to get away with some truly terrible things on his watch. If you endorse Obama or government limitation of liberty in general, then there's probably little conversation to have to begin with. Most liberals (for lack of a better term) think their opinions validate the control and manipulation of others. Tucking your tail is certainly an easier choice to make than actually engaging the issue. And seriously, here in the States, I'm not the only person who is fed up with the governments of the world. If you aren't, you're mental, quite frankly.
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