After the recent Apple event, it has come to light that the new iPad includes a software-controlled SIM card, which will make it a great deal easier for consumers to change their network. Because of this, mobile carriers could be looking at a new threat to their reign of the networks.
Apple SIM has been in the pipeline for several years now and it will allow individuals to select a mobile network and pay on-screen. Apple themselves have said that it will allow people to switch networks more regularly and thereby get hold of the best deals. The iPad’s SIM is obviously marketed at those who travel, as it will be particularly useful for them. The Apple SIM will enable them to join a localised network abroad other than paying (usually high) roaming fees to their operator at in their home country.
Whenever you need it, you can choose the plan that works best for you – with no long-term commitments. And when you travel, you may also be able to choose a data plan from a local carrier for the duration of your trip…The Apple SIM gives you the flexibility to choose from a variety of short-term plans from select carriers in the US and UK right on your iPad,” said Apple.
Could Apple SIM make waves for operators and their customers?
This seems like a warning shot off the bow from Apple, in an attempt to cause a rift between mobile subscribers and their operators. I know what you are thinking, ‘tablet subscriptions only account for a small portion of revenues’ and you would be correct in thinking so. But, and this is a very big but, it is expected the technology will be introduced to the iPhone, which in the UK alone accounts for approximately a third of customers.
France Telecom’s EE is Britain’s biggest mobile operator, which has collaborated with Apple on new technology before, will be the only UK network to support Apple SIM. In the US AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile are supporting Apple SIM. Carriers may resist for a while, but they could soon face pressure from customers. If I were any of the other carriers, I would be afraid. Very afraid.
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