Saturday, 30 October 2010

Apple Working on Embedded SIM for iPhone?

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Is Apple about to dump carrier partners in Europe? Some sources seem to confirm, Steve Jobs and company are setting out on their own -- by partnering up with SIM-card manufacturer Gemalto-- in a move which would allow consumers to buy an iPhone via the web or at an Apple store -- and hook up service on their own.

We’re checking out the cord-cutting conspiracy from GigaOm, PC World, TechEye, and SlashGear.

GigaOm broke this story -- and has some of the details. It says, if Apple succeeds, it will do so where others have failed.

“ could do what Google with its NexusOne could not... Much like it helped cut operators out of the app store game, Apple could be taking them out of the device retail game.”

This could work well in Europe, where competition is stiff. PC World notes, if it DOES work, consumers would be the big winner.

“...[It] means users may be able to easily switch between carriers depending on which one is offering the better deal. ...[Consumers] would likely make the switch via iTunes or perhaps directly through Apple or their new carrier.”

But TechEye says, before consumers go dancing in the streets, they may want to think about the larger ramifications.

“... the downside of this is that it would mean that the Apple blessed SIM would be hardwired into the phone. It would make it much harder to jailbreak and mean that you could only run the phone on Apple blessed telcos.”

...A point one consumer protested quite strongly, in a comment on SlashGear’s coverage of the potential iPhone deal.

“I don’t think this move bypasses ‘carriers’, it bypasses ‘users’. 
Apple clearly isn’t a fan of the freedom of their users – first they made the sim card ridiculously hard to swap by requiring a metal clip to tear it out of the phone. Then they required you to physically cut your sim card (which effectively meant that putting a sim card in a iPhone 4 became a one-way operation).”

So what do you think? More freedom? Or more control for Big Bro Apple?
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