back to article Apple scraps 'never-formed plans' for iPhone SIM in 2011

Apple has apparently scrapped plans to build a SIM into the next-generation iPhone, despite never having had any such plan, at least not until it would be legal to do so. The Telegraph reported the story over the weekend, claiming that outraged network operators stood together and forced Cupertino to back down over the plans - …

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WTF?

So what?

Is it such a big deal not having a SIm card in your phone. All CDMA handsets in N.America and India (til date) have SIM less handsets.

SO whats the problem here, I ask ?

Apart from the ususal control freakery of Apple jibes, whats there to lose for Fanbois?

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Anonymous Coward

What?

"Is it such a big deal not having a SIm card in your phone. All CDMA handsets in N.America and India (til date) have SIM less handsets.

SO whats the problem here, I ask ?"

The point of the story is that in Europe you are not allowed to sell a SIMless phone. So the reason for the Reg to run this story is to point out that another news source has published an entirely made up story.

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Boffin

The big deal...

...is stuff like portability. i.e. I can rip the SIM out of my handset and put in a SIM from a different operator and voila: my handset works for a different operator.

Simlock partially blocks this, but most countries have rules on removing simlock. In any case, it beats the pants off having to port a whole handset from one network to another.

Software SIM might be nice, provided you get the same handset portability.

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Anonymous Coward

title

Re: "The point of the story is that in Europe you are not allowed to sell a SIMless phone."

That statement needs to be more precise. I (and millions others) own a handset which doesn't have a SIM card. Granted, they don't connect to a GSM licensed network but to a DECT base station.

The point is, the SIM is an unavoidable part of the GSM standard, and as such all phones connecting to a GSM network must have one. In itself, this doesn't mean that ALL handset, even not all mobile handsets need to have a SIM card. Only those who connect to a GSM network.

Now, are there any non-GSM networks in Europe, and would it be illegal to run one? Probably not. I don't recall Satellite phones being illegal in Europe.

Second more important question (esp. for Apple), would they be interested in providing an iPhone which did NOT connect to GSM networks. I guess not ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Simple...

The ability to change hardware without having to reprogram everything. The SIM is your identity, not your phone. This still applies to the iPhone.

The amount of times I've heard my friends and colleagues in the US complain about how they hate having to re-enter their contacts after switching phones is astonishing, or how they have to replace their perfectly good phone with a new one because some glitch in their customer data locked the phone up, whereas I can simply put my SIM into the new phone and continue where I left off in the old phone.

Granted, with smartphones being the way they are, the GSM community is starting to move the same way as the CDMA community, although it is still possible to keep one's contact list on the SIM by either copying them from phone memory over to the SIM, or by keeping them on the SIM in the first place. I prefer having the SIM, thank you.

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WTF?

Not so

My last phone had no sim in it, bought from Amazon. I doubt they are breaking the law.

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Pedantic

I think from the article's context it's pretty clear it means cellular telephones. Why would a phone connecting to POTS need to comply with the GSM standard?

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Boffin

Re: So what?

"All CDMA handsets in N.America and India (til date) have SIM less handsets."

Which is the reason I will never, ever have a CDMA handset. Fortunately, CDMA is a dead-end, and will be superseded by LTE, which comes from the GSM branch. Every single phone 10 years from now will have a removable SIM card ... unless Apple get this stoopid "virtual SIM" thing approved. Hopefully someone will do a proof of concept cracking this crap and it will never be approved!

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Unhappy

Well quite.

" Europe's network operators have all the backbone of a jelly baby and are about as likely to stand up to Steve Jobs as Greenpeace is to develop an independent nuclear deterrent. "

That more or less nails it. The stores know that if you don't sell the "J-Phone" you can watch at least half your profits walk past the shop. Yes Android is nice and personally I would opt for one over the iPhone, but average Joe P looking for a smartphone while out on the high street, knowing most of his mates have an iPhone, he will plump for one too.

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Flame

Not true any more

Which is why Android is now outselling iOS. The reality for Steve is that this boat has passed. If he had gone simless with the iPhone 1 he might have got away with it, but now that there is competition, increasing the height of the walls around his quaint little walled garden will lose him a few more customers, helping Android destroy the iPhone.

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Anonymous Coward

Ttir,amcla/od

So the walls of the garden might get a little higher... If you already own an iPhone you probably don't care or won't notice, and if you don't own an iPhone you definitely don't care anyhow.

Let's all not care together!

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Jobs Horns

The rest of us might care...

... if other manufacturers decide to do the same.

Imagine being locked into a 2 year contract with no possibility of SIM-swapping price-saving trickery (if you're impatient) and no possibility of taking the phone with you to another operator at the end of the contract.

It cements artificially high tariffs and lock-in to subsidise people who must have new bling every year.

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"A source said"...

...is the journalistic equivalent of "I'm not racist, but..." It basically translates to "what follows carries with it a very high probability of being complete and utter arsewash." Enjoy.

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Anonymous Coward

A source said

Nah, it's simpler than that. "A source said..." means "I've just made this up."

Other journalistic phrases with the same meaning include:

"Some people are saying..."

"Experts claim that..."

"The tide of public opinion is..."

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Only...

.... if you are dealing with crap journalists. There are perfectly good reasons for using anonymous sources,

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Only

Which are few and far between. All too often, journalists use the "A spokesperson said" umbrella when talking about public bodies and government departments. Sometimes it's subtle, sometimes it's in your face and 99.9% of the time, is unwarranted.

I'm sick and tired of hearing "A Home Office spokesperson said...." when talking about general public policy. Who? Who in our Home Office said?

It's crap journalism. End of.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: RE: Only

It's not 'end of'. It's standard practice. Official spokespeople are just official spokespeople. They don't need to be named. They're mouthpieces. I don't see why you're flapping your arms about it.

Still, I'd be a bit tetchy if my given name was 'dudeskinn'.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Re: RE: Only

"Official spokespeople are just official spokespeople. They don't need to be named. They're mouthpieces. I don't see why you're flapping your arms about it."

Sarah, don't fall for their bullshit. I'm not talking about the people who pen the press releases, whoever *they* are.

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Official Spokespersons are one thing

"A source" is another thing entirely. Saying that "A homeoffice spokesperson said" is the same as saying "the home office said" the official spokes person is speaking for that organisation and does not need to be named, because their name is irrelevant.

When a journalist has a reason to keep their source secret they won't lead with something like "a source said". Take for example a political scandal, there could be very good reasons to protect your source. I'm not just talking about keeping the source to yourself, I'm talking about protecting the source from trouble. When we're talking about a trivial matter like SIMless phone there isn't really any need for that.

In this case "A source said..." makes things look more legitimate than saying "I heard a rumour down the pub/on twitter/on a fanboi forum". Of course the journalist isn't lying as such since they did get their story from "a source" even if that source was a spotty geek who hardly ever leaves the house. OTOH if they'd come out with a statement like "a source within Apple" then they would be lying.

It's an old game among crap journalists to take a flaky rumour, pad it out into a proper story and then blame the whole lot on the anonymous source who first told them the rumour. That doesn't mean all journalists are crap, just the ones who do this.

You only have to read the Eye to find out how often lazy scribes pick up an unsubstantiated rumour and roll it into a full story as "fact".

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Paris Hilton

Removable?

Can't Apple just sell iPhones with whatever sim card already in it?

Sure, people could take it out but if people like the service they won't be inclined to.

Or is that too simple? Or am I missing the point?

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Nya
FAIL

Problem is though....

Funniest thing was this "official source" for the Telegraph also stated that the iPhAD 2 will be out before Christmas and it's got Flash on it. Pretty much sums up how balievable this "source" is.

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Anonymous Coward

Thought...

The iPAD2 story came from T3 not the torygraph.

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Silver badge

SIM

And can you move your CDMA phone between Operators? In theory yes, in practice no.

EU can still say to GSMA "Yes your SW SIM works, but it's not legal in EU"

I hope they do.

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Anonymous Coward

GSM is not just a standard, it's a legally mandated standard

So the way around this is not not sell it as a mobile phone. instead just a mobile web device. No phone connection means just data, so voip only for calls.

No biggie.

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Boffin

Does not work

The standard applies to all devices which connec to the GSM network and parts of it are set in stone in EU directives.

You are however on the right track - it is not the iPhone, iSlab, IC**p or whatever else with i* which is the reason for the software SIM discussion.

It is your electricity meter and other telemetry devices especially ones that operate in outdoor environments like water meters. There the extra mechanical contact between the SIM and the reader has a significant probability of failure over the lifetime of the device (usually regulated to at _LEAST_ 10 years). That is why everybody wants it removed. Without it the mobile companies cannot compete for this market in the long term.

So they will introduce it and it will be part of the standard regardless of any Apple involvement.

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Erm

Any device connectiong to a mobile network must comply, not just something described s a telephone.

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Stop

Hmmm

The whole story sounds like bollocks to me.

(for the same reasons covered in the 2nd paragraph of the article)

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Happy

LiberalConspiracy

LiberalConspiracy got into a tizzy about it - http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/11/21/vodafone-the-sequel/ :-)

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Starts in seconds arrives in months

Its quite a cloudy start to this one.

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cancel that last comment please

oops wrong thread.

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Grenade

@GSM is legally mandated standard?

Wow, where? So I must stop using Iridium phone? DECT ones? CDMA EV-DO Rev.B phones and modem devices (with R-UIM card mind you)?

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Anonymous Coward

@ So what?

"Is it such a big deal not having a SIm card in your phone. All CDMA handsets in N.America and India (til date) have SIM less handsets.

SO whats the problem here, I ask ?

Apart from the ususal control freakery of Apple jibes, whats there to lose for Fanbois?"

The obvious loss is that if I want to go fishing, boating or some other activity where I'm not prepared to risk my iPhone I can simply remove the SIM and throw it in my old SE T600, if my wife leaves the charger for her phone at her mother's I can throw her SIM in the S-E until we get the charger back, if my company phone dies I can throw the SIM (different provider) from that into my iPhone until its replaced, if I'm working overseas I can buy whatever local prepaid SIM gives the best deal for local calling and throw it in my iPhone, if I want to make cheap calls outside the free minutes on my plan I can throw in a prepaid SIM from another provider that gives cheaper daytime calling.

These are all things I've done in the past that would be impossible with an embedded SIM function - and such a device would be a loss to all of us ultimately, regardless of what type of phone we own, as it's a fairly safe bet that in the long run the embedded SIM will work out cheaper and be adopted by all manufacturers.

Remember - most of the world's iPhone users are not locked into a network or plan and just because some unfortunates are doesn't mean that no-one needs/wants to be able to change the SIM. I own the phone, so I determine which network it operates on and what sort of plan I have. Vodafone sold me the IPhone, I provided the SIM - they have no idea which network I connected it to.

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Which law

> In Europe, all mobile phones are required to conform to the GSM standard.

Which law?

UK operators have previously sold phones without removable SIM cards (they were superglued in place). Were they breaking a law?

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WTF?

To all the numpties blathering on about DECT phones

Are you all complete morons or are you just trolling?

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Which is worse?

Which is wors: being sent back to the drawing board with your tail between your legs (to which it ALREADY is attached), or with your legs between your tail (which would take only a wee bit of imagination to visualize)?

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Jobs Horns

Jobs Does it again...

Jobs Does it again.... More Control for Apple, less choice for consumers. This guy never ceases to amaze me.

When do the antitrust lawsuists start? Please? Someone?

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