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Apple said leaving embedded SIM out only for iPhone 5

updated 10:15 am EST, Tue November 23, 2010

Apple may pass on embedded SIMs only on iPhone 5

Apple's rumored decision to avoid embedded SIMs may have only been for the 2011 refresh, sources argued Tuesday. The company has purportedly reassured European carriers that the iPhone 5 will still depend on removable micro SIM cards but has given signs that it would shift over later on. Tips to the Financial Times didn't reveal whether that meant 2012 or still-longer plans.

The decision to skip embedded SIMs was ostensibly a reaction to O2, Orange and Vodafone threats that they would stop subsidizing the iPhone if it went through with the plan in the next generation. Earlier rumors had suggested they were concerned about losing most contact with the customer during the sale and seeing their roles reduced to being pure data pipes.

However, the lack of a short term change may be more due to plans to embrace a wider standard than any carrier intents. A coalition in the GSM Association has proposed an embedded SIM standard that would potentially let all GSM and LTE phones, not just Apple's, scrap removable SIMs in favor of a chipset that would allow remote activation. American carriers like AT&T and Verizon, as well as international carriers such as T-Mobile, have identified themselves as part of the group and could make the change a reality in 2012.

Apple had used home activation for the iPhone in 2007 but dropped it due to gray market importing. It also hasn't offered a similar feature for customers buying unlocked iPhones in Canada, France and other countries, leaving many to buy a SIM from the carrier before they can start making calls. An embedded SIM could let unlocked models jump carriers on demand.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. lkrupp

    Junior Member

    Joined: May 2001

    0

    Wow...

    Yet another completely unsubstantiated rumor for the rumor mill, analysts, and Apple haters to go completely nuts over.

  1. charlituna

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2009

    +3

    the issue isn't the embedded sim

    it doesn't matter if the sim is embedded or not, digital or a card. You can have a built in software sim and still require folks to activate before leaving the store, limit full price buys etc just like now.

    Apple could have always picked to only sell through their stores at full price and s**** the carriers and their stores. The nature of the sim is beside the point.

    The carriers are worried they will just be a pipe line. Guess what, they already are. And having in house sales is not their real issue. They are worried about losing their right to subsidize and put folks under a contract. Well they can lose that right now. I'm sure Apple's contracts give them the right to change the game plan anytime they want. And if not 'anytime' certainly when the iphone 5 comes out.

  1. bjojade

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007

    +1

    What's the difference?

    The difference is that it will make it EASIER to switch carriers. Right now, to switch carriers, you have to have in your hand a SIM card from that carrier. As long as the phone isn't locked, you can pop in a new card and use the phone.

    The difference will be that you won't need to carry cards around, you'll just be able to go to a setting on the phone and pick the carrier you want. The same deals and contracts could be easily required. I don't understand the difficulty that the carriers have in this concept. It means LESS work required on their part in the sales office, which means they could dedicate more resources to making a better network. Customers would choose based on network quality. Oh the horror!

  1. coffeetime

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Nov 2006

    +1

    The way...

    I understand is that if the chip is embedded, that means you are no longer able to switch carrier on your own even after iPhone is jailbroken and unlocked. I don't think its as easy as going to setting and change it there because it's the SIM card that dictates the carrier. If Apple embeds AT&T SIM card in iPhone, you can no longer use iPhone under T-Mobile or any other carriers outside of U.S.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -4

    Re: the issue isn't the embedded sim

    it doesn't matter if the sim is embedded or not, digital or a card. You can have a built in software sim and still require folks to activate before leaving the store, limit full price buys etc just like now.

    Apple could have always picked to only sell through their stores at full price and s**** the carriers and their stores. The nature of the sim is beside the point.


    There's just one problem with this entire argument. You do NOT have to deal with ATT at all to get an iPhone. Order it from the Apple store. Step through the silly screens. Phone comes in the mail, with SIM card. SIM gets plugged into phone, you're off.

    Why do people seem to think this is new?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -4

    Re: What's the difference?

    The difference is that it will make it EASIER to switch carriers. Right now, to switch carriers, you have to have in your hand a SIM card from that carrier. As long as the phone isn't locked, you can pop in a new card and use the phone.

    First off, that's a big if. But if the phone isn't locked, it's no big deal. You can set up an account with any of the carriers on-line, get the card from the carrier (mailed to you) and plug it in.

    The difference will be that you won't need to carry cards around, you'll just be able to go to a setting on the phone and pick the carrier you want. The same deals and contracts could be easily required.

    And within 5 minutes the first class action suits will be filed against apple for letting them change carriers so easily that they caused themselves to have to pay an EFT to a carrier.

    I don't understand the difficulty that the carriers have in this concept. It means LESS work required on their part in the sales office,

    It's the SALES office. They are there to make SALES. That's not just "Hey, sign on the dotted line for this 2 year contract", but also "Do you want a data plan? Text plan? No, you don't need 250 message limit, you should get the unlimited. You need a case? A charger? A car-charger? Headset?" They make money from these sales as well (or did you not realize that?).

    which means they could dedicate more resources to making a better network.

    Yes, it's the fictional world of "Company A will make the same amount of money regardless of whether they have retail stores, so they can take all that retail money and use it for something else!"

    Customers would choose based on network quality. Oh the horror!

    No, they would end up choosing the network based on who had the phone they wanted. So, basically, they'd be going ATT because that's whose got the iPhone. So simless helps them not at all.

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