Apple Announces Apple SIM
Although Apple’s fans have not been exactly satisfied with their products and services (i.e. iCloud Celebrity Hack, iPhone 6 bending problem, iOS 8 bugs, etc.), the tech giant doesn’t back down at all. After announcing Apple Pay (their new e-Pay system), they move on to the next big thing that (statistically speaking) will be quite a hit. I’m talking about Apple SIM, a new SIM card manufactured by Apple (obviously) that US and UK consumers will find pre-installed in the iPad Air 2.
Why iPad and not iPhone?
It makes sense for Apple to roll out the SIM card for the iPad and not the iPhone, due to a few reasons. But let’s take a look at what Apple states for it:
“So whenever you need it, you can choose the plan that works best for you — with no long-term commitments. And when you travel, you may also be able to choose a data plan from a local carrier for the duration of your trip”.
This means that users will be allowed to sign-up for plans from more than one carriers and use whichever they want depending on their current needs. It seems that Apple came in terms with mobile providers and users with this SIM card will be able to switch telco instantly, a restriction that always existed.
So, when buying an iPhone people usually look for a plan to go with it that will greatly decrease its cost and let the buyer cover it gradually over a period of a few months or years. So, not only you get an iPhone half its price, but you also get a deal for a suitable plan from your preferred carrier. The only thing that could be referred to as “downside” is the fact that you commit yourself to the carrier and the plan for said time, so changing carrier is not an option during this period. Therefore, it’s highly unlikely someone with one data plan will need to change telco for as long as he’s committed to his initial mobile carrier. That’s not the case with iPad devices of course, making it easier for Apple to promote the SIM card.
Additionally, the SIM card for the iPad is going to have a phone number that is irrelevant to the customer. It’s easier to get a new SIM number for an account with a different mobile operator than getting a whole new mobile number.
For the time being, the SIM card doesn’t support any carriers other than AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. More carriers will be supported in the future but for now these are your only choices if you wish to use this SIM card (they are quite popular however, in US and UK).
Why did Apple keep It down?
It’s funny though how such a big change in Apple’s hardware lineup was not given much attention from the company. But that’s all part of the plan; imagine a huge announcement and promotion of the SIM. Buying an iPad Air 2 from an Apple store with the SIM included (which is not bound to any carrier) costs about $900, right? And then the consumer will be able to pick his carrier plan from the comfort of his home and change it whenever he wants to, without committing himself to the carrier for 1-2 years, which is the case currently. Let’s break down the results of this action:
- Mobile carriers will experience a devastating loss
- Apple’s sales will go down
Why? The first result is obvious. Carriers count on plans for their profits, so if people do not sign up for plans then they are destined to fall. Why will Apple’s sales go down, though? It’s not really hard to see either. Even hardcore Apple fans have limits, which are set by their wallets; the number of people that can afford a $900 iPhone is significantly smaller than the number of those who can pay half this price (and sign up for a mobile plan in return). Apple feeds on mobile carriers to survive, (and mobile carriers feed on Apple’s victims fans).
And this is actually why everything will keep running smoothly, and why Apple will not make a big deal about its new SIM card; well-played Apple, indeed.
Let’s see how this will work out for Apple, mobile carriers and mainly us, the consumers.