According to reports last month, Apple is working on a reprogrammable SIM module for future iPhones that would allow Cupertino to sell iPhones directly to customers without it being locked to a specific carrier.
Hey, guess who doesn’t like that idea? Hint: the carriers.
According to the Financial Times, leading European iPhone carriers are up in arms about Apple’s plans to sell iPhones directly to consumers that can be easily reprogrammed to work with any carrier. They feel like they’re being iced out by Apple, and those networks raising the biggest stink include Vodafone UK and france Telecom.
They’re right to be worried. In Europe in particular, where customers frequently roam out of their native carrier’s networks, a reprogrammable SIM module would allow customers to easily switch to the best network in the area they are in. Americans will be able to enjoy the same luxury when AT&T’s exclusivity deal ends.
Slowly but surely, carriers are becoming mere service providers in the mobile iOS experience. From a consumerist’s point of view, that’s a good thing, but don’t expect the carriers not to kick about it.