Apple’s latest iPad tablet offering, the 9.7 inch iPad Pro, comes with an embedded Apple SIM card. Other recent devices from the company also feature this SIM, but unlike most physical SIM cards, this one is hard wired into the tablet, which means it will not be removable. But now that Apple has begun tinkering with embedded SIMs on its tablets, are iPhones next?
According to Ken Hyers, an analyst from research firm Strategy Analytics, it is quite possible that Apple will be planning to employ a similar SIM strategy to its iPhone devices. As explained by Hyers, having an embedded SIM on the new iPad Pro may not be much of a big deal. But when that hard wired SIM is fitted on an iPhone, it would be a game changer. If Apple ever decides to go that road, the company would essentially be offering its own mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). This is what players in the wireless industry have been dreading all along -- the might of Apple about to encroach on their territory.
When Apple introduced the Apple SIM back in 2014, the company had not yet thoroughly entertained the idea of putting the SIM inside iPhone devices because most mobile devices nowadays are usually sold via wireless carrier distribution channels. But oh, how times have changed in the past couple of years. The previously untouchable Apple is actually talking about having its first ever slump in iPhone sales (aided by iPhone fatigue). And Apple is now starting to focus on mobile services instead of just its devices and gadgets.
Apple may not want to provoke the wrath of wireless carriers, but putting the Apple SIM inside iPhone devices has its advantages, especially for mobile users. A person who owns an iPhone device with an embedded Apple SIM will never have to go through a mobile operator directly, and instead just choose to switch from one network to another as he fits.
For Apple, it would mean having more control of its customers. Phone makers are often at the mercy of wireless carriers because what is the use of purchasing a smartphone when you can not get it to work on an available mobile network? Sure, there are unlocked options, but when you do head to one wireless carrier, you are going to get tied to that provider unless you switch for good. With the Apple SIM on iPhone devices, mobile users essentially get more flexibility, with Apple enjoying better loyalty, at the expense of the wireless carriers.
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