Carriers' threats force Apple to abandon embedded iPhone SIM plans

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 91
    Hahahahahaha. Chicken apple.
  • Reply 2 of 91
    I would think the EU would be all over this protecting the rights of consumers, blah blah blah.
  • Reply 3 of 91
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 91
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 91
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 91
    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... \
  • Reply 7 of 91
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 91
    noirdesirnoirdesir Posts: 1,027member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 91
    djsherlydjsherly Posts: 1,031member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 91
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 91
    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
  • Reply 12 of 91
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 91
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 91
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
    2) Please don?t 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, you?d just use BT, NFC, or manual input to put in the 20 digit code that you can then switch easily via your settings.
  • Reply 15 of 91
    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.
    2) Please don?t 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, you?d 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
  • Reply 16 of 91
    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
  • Reply 17 of 91
    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).
  • Reply 18 of 91
    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?
  • Reply 19 of 91
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 91
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,482member
    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.
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