European wireless providers renew opposition to multi-carrier Apple SIM

Posted:
in iPad edited October 2014
Wireless carriers on the Old Continent are approaching the Apple SIM --?a new, Apple-provided SIM card that would allows users to easily switch between data service providers --?with caution, staking out a similar position to the one they held the last time Apple proposed such a solution.




Just one European carrier --?The U.K.'s EE --?has signed on to support the Apple SIM, and others look unlikely to follow suit in the near future. Spokespeople from popular European telcos Telefonica, Three, Orange, and Deutsche Telekom either declined to comment or echoed nearly the same sentiments in comments to the Wall Street Journal.

"We will be observing and assessing the markets' reactions to the Apple SIM, and draw further conclusions in due time," said an Orange spokesperson. "We will analyze how the Apple SIM fits into the price and product strategy in the weeks to come," a Telefonica representative said separately.

This is the second time that European telecom giants have opposed Apple's efforts in this area. The Cupertino company floated the idea of an embedded SIM for the iPhone in 2010, but shelved those plans after threats of a carrier revolt.

"The operators are accusing Apple of trying to gain control of their relationship with their mobile customers with the new SIM," the Financial Times reported at the time.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,772member
    Well I guess there are options. People can use the carrier who exists.
  • Reply 2 of 34
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    Them pesky Colonists trying to disrupt the Old Continent with their new fangled gewgaws shipped in from the Orient...
  • Reply 3 of 34
    Typical Europe...
  • Reply 4 of 34
    Since Orange is part of EE, I don't see why an Orange spokesperson would say that. EE (everything everywhere) was a merger between Orange and T-Mobile. It's the largest network in the UK in terms of coverage and subscribers. I'm sure O2 will announce support shortly, I reckon Apple didn't discuss it with all the networks beforehand, they just went to the biggest; all the networks are used to giving out SIMs and they'll be wondering whether Apple's model is good, bad or not really any different. At the end of the day, they'll have to do what Apple wants, but they'll be more worried about the iPhone than the iPad.
  • Reply 5 of 34
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,134member

    Carriers are really just like any utility.  Once should be able to switch without buying new hardware, sims, etc.

  • Reply 6 of 34
    misamisa Posts: 827member
    adonissmu wrote: »
    Well I guess there are options. People can use the carrier who exists.
    This pretty much.

    An embedded SIM was always a bad idea, because that ensured carrier lock-in, thus regressively sending us back to 1991, where carriers started picking different technologies, and making switching impossible.

    The Apple SIM is just an option. What I'd like to see is the Apple SIM work with all PAYG (Pay as you Go/Prepaid) systems, in conjunction with Apple Pay, so that it only deducts an amount that you use, instead of "topping up" uselessly just to keep the number in service.
  • Reply 7 of 34
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,599member

    Yeah they do not want it because it allows you to go country to country and use a local carrier as you like and not pay extra fees for roaming. In the past you just need to get a SIM card from each countries provider in order to use local services, today you give them the phone id and you are set to go.

     

    Apple is just pissing everyone off these days. The service provider just do not like being at the bottom of the experience. They want to be in control not Apple.

  • Reply 8 of 34

    Screw the consumer. Long live the corporation and its needs. 

  • Reply 9 of 34
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,655member

    Locking-in to a specific carrier (if all the frequencies are the same) is a dying model.  Those iPads will work on another carrier if you just swap the sim out anyways right?  If that's the case, the only reason I can think of from the carrier's point of view is that they are banking that the user will be too lazy to go and seek another sim card from another network.  It's the only thing I can really think of.



    Any other thoughts (conspiracies)??

  • Reply 10 of 34
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,390member
    eriamjh wrote: »
    Carriers are really just like any utility.  Once should be able to switch without buying new hardware, sims, etc.

    That would only work if every piece of cellular technology was using the same frequencies, or all devices supported all frequencies used
  • Reply 11 of 34
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,096member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Misa View Post



    An embedded SIM was always a bad idea, because that ensured carrier lock-in, thus regressively sending us back to 1991, where carriers started picking different technologies, and making switching impossible.

     

     

    I think you misunderstand what Apple proposed with the embedded SIM.  Basically the Apple SIM of now, but embedded in the device.  You could switch it between whatever carrier you wanted to use at the moment.  It is the opposite of carrier lock in.

  • Reply 12 of 34
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

     

    Locking-in to a specific carrier (if all the frequencies are the same) is a dying model.  Those iPads will work on another carrier if you just swap the sim out anyways right?  If that's the case, the only reason I can think of from the carrier's point of view is that they are banking that the user will be too lazy to go and seek another sim card from another network.  It's the only thing I can really think of.



    Any other thoughts (conspiracies)??


     

    Yes, you can just swap the SIM, but the reality is that for a short trip it isn't worth the hassle. I lived in Europe for a couple of years and it is ridiculous. We would drive an hour to another country for the day to shop and while there we would have to roam since it was across a border. It adds up quite a bit. Getting a SIM for my wife and I for a day wouldn't have been worth the effort. The carrier got their roaming money though. We had locked iPhones from the country we lived in. It isn't all open over there like people think. Some countries have carrier subsidies and lock-ins, etc.

  • Reply 13 of 34
    Yes, the carriers don't want to make it too easy for their customers to turn off their service and jump to another carrier. Yes, its a matter of the consumer walking into another carrier and picking up a SIM but think how much better it would be if you could turn your iPad on in whatever country you happen to be in and then select from all the available options and then you can pick the carrier that has the best price and reception in the area you will be in. I believe Apple's big picture is that once carriers are on board with this new SIM then Apple can get rid of the SIM card altogether and move towards their embedded SIM that can activate itself on any network carrier including prepaid services. Apple is all about hardware/software integration and making the customer experience seem magical.
  • Reply 14 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jfanning View Post





    That would only work if every piece of cellular technology was using the same frequencies, or all devices supported all frequencies used

    Which is the case with iPhones and iPads. All new iPhones and iPads support multiple carriers, can switch between them freely. If all networks are fully LTE, there is nothing stopping Apple from offering Apple SIMs in iPhone (like they do in iPad).

  • Reply 15 of 34
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,390member
    Which is the case with iPhones and iPads. All new iPhones and iPads support multiple carriers, can switch between them freely. <span style="line-height:1.4em;">If all networks are fully LTE, there is nothing stopping Apple from offering Apple SIMs in iPhone (like they do in iPad).</span>

    There are two different models of iPhone 6, the A1549, and A1586, they support different frequencies.
  • Reply 16 of 34
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 591member
    Wireless carriers on the Old Continent are approaching the Apple SIM --?a new, Apple-provided SIM card that would allows users to easily switch between data service providers --?with caution, staking out a similar position to the one they held the last time Apple proposed such a solution.

    <div align="center"><img src=http://photos.appleinsidercdn.com/gallery/10794-3174-Screenshot-2014-10-16-151417-l.png alt="" />
    <span class="minor2 small gray"></span></div>

    Just one European carrier --?The U.K.'s EE --?has signed on to support the <a href="http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/10/16/apple-unveils-new-multi-carrier-apple-sim-bundled-with-new-ipads">Apple SIM</a>, and others look unlikely to follow suit in the near future. Spokespeople from popular European telcos Telefonica, Three, Orange, and Deutsche Telekom either declined to comment or echoed nearly the same sentiments in <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2014/10/27/europes-telcos-plan-frosty-reception-for-apples-ipad-sim/?mod=rss_Technology">comments</a> to the <em>Wall Street Journal</em>.

    "We will be observing and assessing the markets' reactions to the Apple SIM, and draw further conclusions in due time," said an Orange spokesperson. "We will analyze how the Apple SIM fits into the price and product strategy in the weeks to come," a Telefonica representative said separately.

    This is the second time that European telecom giants have opposed Apple's efforts in this area. The Cupertino company floated the idea of an embedded SIM for the iPhone in 2010, but <a href="http://appleinsider.com/articles/10/11/21/carriers_threats_force_apple_to_abandon_embedded_iphone_sim_plans">shelved</a> those plans after <a href="http://appleinsider.com/articles/10/11/18/european_carriers_threaten_apple_over_embedded_sim_option.html">threats</a> of a carrier revolt.

    "The operators are accusing Apple of trying to gain control of their relationship with their mobile customers with the new SIM," the <em>Financial Times</em> reported at the time.

    As opposed to the New World where support by carriers is, ah, nonexistent? At least in Europe, you can buy an unlocked iPad at the same price as a subsidised one and have as many pay-as-you-go sims as you want. Since at least 5 years ago.
  • Reply 17 of 34
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 591member
    chadbag wrote: »
    I think you misunderstand what Apple proposed with the embedded SIM.  Basically the Apple SIM of now, but embedded in the device.  You could switch it between whatever carrier you wanted to use at the moment.  It is the opposite of carrier lock in.
    That is not true. Embedded Sims were carrier specific. IPhones did not even support different frequencies back then.
  • Reply 18 of 34
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,096member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jfanning View Post





    There are two different models of iPhone 6, the A1549, and A1586, they support different frequencies.



    The only difference between them is the addition of the Chinese proprietary technology frequency bands.  The rest of the frequencies are identical.

  • Reply 19 of 34
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,096member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflagel View Post





    That is not true. Embedded Sims were carrier specific. IPhones did not even support different frequencies back then.



    It is true.  The embedded SIM technology that Apple proposed was basically the Apple SIM of today embedded in the phone.   This was shot down by the carriers for the same reason they are trying to do so today -- they think they lose control.

     

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/10/10/27/apple_developing_open_sim_for_iphone_service_rfid_sales.html

  • Reply 20 of 34
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,096member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sflagel View Post





    As opposed to the New World where support by carriers is, ah, nonexistent? At least in Europe, you can buy an unlocked iPad at the same price as a subsidised one and have as many pay-as-you-go sims as you want. Since at least 5 years ago.



    The iPad in the US is unlocked and you can put whatever SIM in it you want.

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