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Rumor: Apple Developing its Own Sim Card to Cut Out the Carriers



There’s rumor of a disturbance in the force wafting around the Internets today. Stacy Higginbotham of GigaOm is reporting that European sources are saying Apple is working with SIM-card maker Gemalto to create a special SIM card that would work with any carrier. The big speculation that is building around that story is that this could put Apple in a position to sell its iPhone with having to be wed to a carrier. Even more, that this could potentially (stress that last word) some day lead to the carrier’s losing their leverage and competing for your business.

The idea is that you could choose your carrier when you make a purchase of the phone, and for Europe, from what I understand, that makes much more sense than it does here in the US where the carriers hold more than considerable sway. Folks are also saying that, if true, this could put Apple in a position to weaken the carriers’ hold in ways that everyone thought Google was going to try to do when it rolled out its first Android phone. Well, we all know how that worked out.

It is interesting speculation and Apple keeps getting assigned super powers that supposedly will change/save/transform industries, but I’m not holding my breath. Some of those other industries are fighting back (can you say Apple TV) and while Apple does have some clout, I don’t think the US carriers will too easily let Apple play this game.



  1. MarceloR

    10/27/2010 at 11:01 pm

    I don’t know Warren, I see the implications completely the reverse of you. Aside from contractual obligations (which this card will not circumvent) Apple can sell a phone without being wedded to any carrier any time it wants to. I see it as strengthening the ability of carries (aided by Apple) to limit your choices as this Sim will not be generally available or compatible to other carrier’s unless Apple sanctions it.

    • Anonymous

      10/27/2010 at 11:22 pm

      That’s certainly another side of the same coin and you may be correct. Ain’t speculation fun?

  2. Fred Cervantes

    10/28/2010 at 6:39 am

    I think carriers stopped fighting for my business long ago. The most recent changes I see is the cap on data plans. They are comfortably restricting knowing they will not loose clients. Why? I think is because more people is jumping into smartphones and tables and the demand for data is high. So they get to charge what ever they please. The way they keep clients is with advertising, store furniture, logos, slogans and others. People usually stay where they feel fine and they feel fine with good customer service or with makeup. Few people complain when AT&T caps service, charges more and gives you the most inconsistent signal strength and or speed (even if the signal is fine). Their service became crappy but not many jump out. Hopefully what Apple has noticed is a way to make carriers more bulnerable and then they will offer something better or cheaper, but of course I have to admit that Apple is always after the opportunity to make money. Their opportunity exists because many practice the old way of making business and people is tired of that. People do not say it often but I am pretty sure Mr Jobs have been observing customer satisfaction closely to find another gold mine.

  3. savagemike

    10/28/2010 at 8:12 am

    Great – so apple runs into the alley and beats up the guy mugging you.
    But, now you are alone in an alley with apple.

    I’ll go ahead and file that under the “just when you thought things could not possibly get worse” heading.

    I jest slightly.
    Apple is not pure evil.
    But if you found a list of things apple would like to accomplish, I doubt you’d find “save consumers money” anywhere on or near it.

  4. GTaylor

    10/28/2010 at 2:24 pm

    I’m sorry, I was only half listening. Did someone say something about still another attempt to break carrier’s hold.. or was it about a fragmenting market?
    Trying to refigure out what the big computing and telecom guys are up to is so dulling to the mind. It is the same as always, divide the customer base, confuse the landscape, and cooperate with any company who plays by the same rules. Big deal, we don’t win… again.

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