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This article was published on November 19, 2010


    European carriers close ranks against Apple’s embedded SIM plan

    European carriers close ranks against Apple’s embedded SIM plan
    Fraser Smith
    Story by

    Fraser Smith

    Fraser Smith is an IT consultant based in Shanghai, China. He has over 15 years experience in the media industry working with many major ne Fraser Smith is an IT consultant based in Shanghai, China. He has over 15 years experience in the media industry working with many major news publishers. He is also co-owner and editor of edexpat.com the educational resource for international families, teachers and schools. You can contact Fraser via Twitter by following @FrasSmith.

    Reliable sources are suggesting that some of Europe’s mobile providers are uniting in their opposition to Apple’s plans to embedding SIMs within mobile devices.

    The providers, thought to include Vodaphone UK, France Telecom and Telefónica in Spain, are privately saying that they could refuse to subsidise an iPhone that contained an embedded SIM.

    Reports, last month, suggested that Apple were investigating the possibility of embedding SIM cards within their mobile devices.  The advantages for Apple are twofold, in addition to making the design and manufacturing process simpler by eliminating the need for users to have access to the cards, it would give control over the activation process to Apple, enabling their customers to choose carrier and activate their phones within the Apple store, or even online.

    The mobile carriers are concerned that this will give Apple, and consumers, more power to negotiate shorter contracts and to use their ability  to easily switch contracts to other carriers as leverage against them.

    Analysts are saying that, if the mobile carriers were to withdraw their subsidies on iPhones, it could cost Apple up to 12% of their current market share.