This is a historical moment. For the first time ever, I agree with carriers in something. It seems Apple’s recent project in conjunction with Gelmato to have built-in SIM cards on phones was well accepted by the GSM Association, but none of the carriers was happy about it.
News all around had the GSM Association building a task force to actually contribute in getting Apple’s project going when all the European carriers objected and even threatend to not continue subsidizing the iPhone if they didn’t drop the idea. The Financial Times reported that:
The operators are privately saying they could refuse to subsidise the iPhone if Apple inserts an embedded subscriber identity module, or Sim card.
The operators are accusing Apple of trying to gain control of their relationship with their mobile customers with the new Sim. The technology could allow customers to buy the iPhone and sign up for service on Apple’s website and start using it immediately.
Closer to the operators’ hearts, it could allow customers to switch more easily from one to another or insist on shorter-term contracts. It could even set the stage for Apple to resell connection service on its own, although the company has not indicated such plans.
We truly do understand Apple’s intent to have more control over the user experience with the iPhone, but we question the extent. One of the biggest reasons many of us prefer GSM carriers is for the ease of just swapping phones by changing the SIM Card. If you travel abroad, or if you even choose to unlock your phone and try it with another carrier, you simply need a removable SIM Card to have enough freedom to get it done. So yeah, this’ll be the first time I say it, but way to go carriers!