Apple’s new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus means we’ll soon escape the captivity of carriers

“When Steve Perlman looks at the latest iPhones, he doesn’t see the newfangled 3D Touch interface. He sees the fine print that lists all the wireless spectra these phones can talk to,” Cade Metz reports for Wired. “The list is long, and it includes Band 39, the spectrum used by the unusually powerful wireless network Perlman and his company, Artemis Research, are building in the San Francisco Bay Area. The new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are built to run on practically any network in the world, he says, and this means consumers soon will have the freedom to move between wireless carriers as they please.”

“‘The thing that people may or may not notice is that if you build a phone that supports every band in the world,’ he says of Apple and the new iPhones, ‘you make it easy for for people to migrate from operator to operator,'” Metz reports. “A few obstacles still stand in the way to this new wireless order, but they’re gradually falling away. Amid all the hullabaloo at its product extravaganza in San Francisco last week, Apple announced that it will finance phone purchases, letting you pay for hardware with monthly installments without the help of a carrier like Verizon or AT&T.”

“The rub is that switching carriers in this way often requires a new SIM card, that thumbnail-size wafer that slips into the back of your phone. But this will soon change too,” Metz reports. “Apple already offers a multi-carrier SIM in the iPad, the ‘Apple SIM’ — a SIM that lets you change carriers without any hardware changes. You simply tap the change into your touchscreen. Eventually, this kind of SIM will come to the iPhone as well. There’s no good reason it wouldn’t.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Bring on the final piece, the Apple SIM, in iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus!

Apple SIM iPads change the international data roaming game – July 1, 2015
New ‘Apple SIM’ could significantly disrupt the wireless industry – October 17, 2014
Apple SIM card in new iPads challenges mobile networks – October 17, 2014


  1. Apple is now rewriting/dicating the rules for wireless carriers and will eventually do the same for advertisers. An Apple SIM for the iPhone in 2016 will be the icing on the consumer cake.

  2. I wish they were able to just buy one of the top 4 carriers without all the legal intervention…what better place to spend your free cash than on the network or spectrum that connects to your hardware/software mobile solution. Eliminated the middleman who causes so much trouble for your customers.

    1. Let’s take a look at what that would be like.

      First, you’re saying “the top 4 carriers”… I assume you mean in the USA, right? That does nothing for the rest of the world, and potentially makes things even worse when it comes to international roaming.

      But let’s just go with “our world is the USA” for this…

      OK, so let’s say they buy AT&T for example. That’s $200 Billion in market cap with an almost $300 Billion enterprise value. So expect a buy out to be somewhere north of $300 Billion.

      But it gets worse. AT&T has $115 Billion in debt and only $20 Billion in cash.

      So in addition to the $300+ Billion to buy AT&T, Apple would need to take on an additional $95 Billion in debt.

      What does Apple get for $395+ Billion?

      It gets a business with 3 significant competitors, and a margin that is roughly 1/5 of what Apple is getting now.

      OK, so what happens with iPhone customers that aren’t on AT&T now? Sure, Apple may make it attractive for them to come over (although, that makes the low profit margin even worse), but for many customers, AT&T isn’t an option because of local service availability or local quality issues. For some, there are issues with where they work and the contracts their company has.

      So for everyone not able to switch to Apple’s new carrier, how well do you think Verizon will be willing to promote the iPhone as opposed to Android phones?

      Heck, the other carriers could drop compatibility with the iPhone altogether, resulting in Apple providing a proprietary carrier phone (remember the early days of the iPhone).

      And of course, why would Apple offer service to Android phones?

      So you’ve got this big carrier having half of their customers leave for Verizon/Sprint/T-Mobile, and maybe half of iPhone users leaving for Android.

      The cost of the service would be higher, even if it was only 1/5 of the margin Apple pretty much demands across the board.

      And the very problems you’d want to resolve for the consumer have just been made worse. You can’t go from carrier to carrier, you can only use AT&T as a carrier.

      Instead, what I’d like to see, and what I think we will see, is the Apple eSIM, with true World phones, so we can change at will, preferably with Apple providing the billing. Think of Apple as being like a Super-MVNO, eventually with the process becoming transparent.

  3. Apple can distance itself from the carriers; however, this may not breed good relations. The enmity that may develop could be irreparable. Unless other companies follow Apple’s trend Apple could be singled out for retribution.

    1. What if the carriers had a pact with Android that used a protocol Apple couldn’t have access to? Of course then such a self-serving anti-consumer move would have the ire of it’s Apple customers. And inevitably those other carriers would swoop in to fill the gap. I’m sure it’s been discussed though.

      Middle men hate it when they’ve been usurped and rendered obsolete, right music industry?

    2. The carriers are already doing it to themselves. They are dropping the two year contracts and ending subsidies. It’s smart business for Apple to get into the annual upgrade program.

  4. Sounds like none of the carrier top brass understands game theory. This is what they get for pushing people to buy Android phones when they walked into the store looking for an iPhone.

    Plus, it is a perfect use of Apple’s cash balances; other phone manufacturers — w/out Apple’s cash flow — simply cannot follow suit.

    Apple plays the long game.
    Go Apple!

    1. Sure they can. Apple isn’t using any of its cash to finance iPhone purchases. If you buy on installment, you go through Citizens One. They provide all kinds of personal loans. Any other phone vendor could do the same thing through them, or any other personal loan company.

  5. Potential developments for iPhone 7 and following:

    Apple SIM
    Liquidmetal Enclosure
    Apple Pencil (maybe)
    TouchID under the screen
    Bezelless phone (all screen)
    Wireless charge
    Stereo speakers
    Dual lens camera

    Cool stuff in the works!

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