Apple Pulls Special SIM For iPhone 5

Mobile operators have vetoed Apple’s plans for proprietary SIMs in its iPhone 5, but reports say its going ahead in iPads

Apple has reportedly cancelled plans to develop a bespoke SIM card for the next version of its iPhone, after hostility from mobile operators.

According to reports back in late October, Apple was working with SIM card maker Gemalto to create a special SIM card for the iPhone. Commentators speculated that Apple would then offer future versions of its mobile phones with an Apple contract, and cut out the mobile operators, providing its own SIM and activation, and giving more revenue to Apple

Bypassing Mobile Operators

According to the Daily Telegraph, Apple has given up on its plan to bypass operators, apparently after operators warned Apple that they would refuse to continue subsidising the cost of its pricey phones.

Apple is currently able to enjoy a substantial and guarenteed revenue stream from operators, as the operators pay Apple the full £375 cost of the iPhone 4, which they then return, they either give the handset to their customers for free or with a reduced price, depending on the contract they sign.

“Apple has long been trying to build closer and closer relationships and cut out the operators,” a senior source at a mobile operator told the Telegraph newspaper. “But this time they have been sent back to the drawing board with their tails between their legs.”

iPad SIM Plans

Earier this year, Apple was accused of creating a ‘lock-in’ for iPad users, by using a micro-SIM to serve the iPad’s 3G functionality instead of a conventional SIM card. Users wanting to use an unlocked iPad, would have to buy a micro-SIM from Apple-approved operators to ensure 3G connectivity for their device.

In May, one enterprising user revealed how he used a meat cleaver to trim down a conventional SIM card so it would fit the device’s micro-SIM slot.

And now, although Apple’s new SIM design has been blocked in the iPhone, the Telegraph reports Apple is likely to push ahead ahead and use the Gemalto  SIM card instead of micro-SIMs in futire iPad devices.

New iPad For Christmas?

The newspaper’s source said Apple was expected to bring out integrated-SIM versions of the iPad in the run-up to Christmas or early in the New Year. Apple is apparently able to do this as the tablet device is not subsidised by mobile operators.

The next version of the iPad is expected in the next few weeks, just in time for Christmas. It is said to be similar to the current model, but according to the Telegraph the “lock” button the right-hand side will be changed to a “mute” button similar to the one on the iPhone. It also supposedly comes with a front-facing camera and the ability to operate on both GSM- and CDMA-based networks.