Report: No embedded SIM in iPhone 5, but Apple has not given up on it for subsequent iPhone models

“Apple has told European mobile operators that the next version of its iPhone will not include a technology innovation that several network providers fiercely oppose, say people familiar with the situation,” Andrew Parker reports for The Financial Times.

“In what would amount to at least a temporary reprieve for the operators, the iPhone 5 that is scheduled for launch in mid-2011 is not expected to contain an embedded subscriber identity module, or Sim,” Parker reports. “But people close to the operators say they do not believe Apple has given up on introducing an embedded Sim in the iPhone, which some analysts claim could be the first step in the technology company becoming a provider of network services.”

Parker reports, “If it did include an embedded Sim in the iPhone, customers could buy the smartphone at the technology company’s online store, and then remotely activate the handset after selecting a network provider… The introduction of an embedded Sim could help Apple become a mobile virtual network operator.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Judge Bork” for the heads up.]


  1. People overwhelmingly want control over their iDevices, but does Apple listen? No, because we are not organised in a sufficient mass to sway their decisions, unlike the industry.

    Imagine if there was some way to simultaneously jailbreak every iDevice on the planet…do you think anything will change?

    Of course not, bad people do bad things regardless. Why should the good suffer a degradation in their experience that serves no purpose?

    We all know Apple would surely leverage their iPhone market to secure a teleco in various areas if they had a permanent SIM.

    Apple is spread out pretty thin, in many other markets trying to make up for their small computer market share.

  2. Steve’s probably leaving it on the table as leverage for future negotiations. Good show, old man. Never know when carriers might start to act up, thinking they don’t need to pay those iPhone subsidies any more.

    Journalists pegged it as Apple “walking away with their tail between their legs.” They think Apple had big, immediate ideas for an embedded SIM that proved to be overzealous. They didn’t understand the chess moves. It was merely an exercise. Steve demonstrated to the networks that Apple not only doesn’t need them, but also has designs on how to destroy them. They better play nice and continue to treat the iPhone like a crown jewel…. or else.

  3. It will come – there is no reason not to do it… The carriers can still offer subsidies with their sims and attract business that way – when the handset price drops enough so that subsidies are not required, the telcos will just compete on the quality and price of their service. Which is how it should be…

    It is astonishing, really, to watch the Apple Juggernaut overturning established business models across the board…

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