Apple patent reveals it hasn't dropped the idea to make switching carriers a breeze

Apple patent reveals it hasn't dropped the idea to make switching carriers a breeze
Remember when European carriers went Tony Soprano on Apple when it wanted to plant an embeddable, programmable SIM card in its next iPhone? They threatened to cut subsidies for the iPhone, and let it wither and die under the crush of its own price tag, if Apple tries to circumvent them.

We've all heard the rumors that the next iPhone will feature a world radio by Qualcomm, combining both GSM and CDMA frequencies. Apple's idea was to allegedly put a programmable SIM card inside the iPhone, and to make switching carriers a breeze via an app. We can imagine how that could have raised the hair on carriers' necks, since then everyone will be able to switch carriers quickly on the go, comparison-shopping for the best  deal while abroad, for instance, instead of paying the ugly roaming charges.

Still, it seems that Apple might implement this idea under one form or another, or maybe it is just trying to protect its intellectual rights over it. Last year, Cupertino has filed a patent called "Method and Apparatus for Using a Wireless Communication Device with Multiple Service Providers" (boy, who's coming up with those titles?), and it was made public just recently.

Such an open SIM module would make great sense for the rumored affordable iPhone, relying heavily on iCloud, which is supposedly mulled to reign in on the huge prepaid crowd, especially in emerging markets.

source: AppleInsider



1. dandirk

Posts: 187; Member since: Aug 04, 2011

Great feature! If only every phone could be used on any network. Maybe the carriers would actually use their service to compete with each other. We all know most have horrible support and lame tiered plan policies (aka tethering)

2. PeterIfromsweden

Posts: 1230; Member since: Aug 03, 2011

Oh boy, if Apple put this in the iPhone 5, there will be an operator boycott coming.

3. mambocream

Posts: 29; Member since: Jun 10, 2011

They are probably going to use that to sue every company that makes the dual sim phones that the rest of the world loves.

4. PeterIfromsweden

Posts: 1230; Member since: Aug 03, 2011

can't do that... Apple is stupid with all of their suing stuff. They should concentrate on making the new iPhone, this changes everything again, again instead of makin lawsuits. But hey, that is good for me, since the next iphone wont be as good, then samsung will do better.

5. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

This would be great for the consumer and yet we have to trolls that are still talking s**t. Peter why would a worse iPhone be good for you? A better iPhone will make other phone makers step it up to compete just like every other iPhone has made manufacturers try harder.

8. PeterIfromsweden

Posts: 1230; Member since: Aug 03, 2011

come to think of it, actually you are right here for once Taco. Making a really good iphone, makes other companies step it up. Same thing with Samsung, when Samsung makes a really good phone, apple steps it up as well. So actually it is good for me if the next iphone is good. But i'm not sure if the next iphone will be any better than the Galaxy S2 in terms of hardware (or the upcoming Wave 3 ; ))

6. HTCiscool

Posts: 449; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

I think all phones should feature dual radio that works on CDMA and GSM frequencies, this is a great innovation!

7. M0nkeyBr

Posts: 77; Member since: Jul 13, 2011

If it DEPENDS on the cloud and there are no more real unlimited plans D: scared face

9. fairly_mismatched unregistered

A worldphone that switches it's carrier ID via an app? Nice but not something I see that should be patentable. Also, if this is still for GSM/CDMA then it looks like LTE isn't quite in Apple's iPhone short term future yet then.

10. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

it will make my traveling to other countries.. a breeze

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