Feeds

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

Telegraph sets blogosphere alight with leak

Seven Steps to Software Security

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 - skirting over the fact that such standing together would be operating as an illegal cartel, and that an iPhone with a built-in SIM wouldn't be permitted for sale in Europe, not to mention that 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.

But the Telegraph's "senior source at a mobile operator" claimed to have sent Apple executives "back to the drawing board with their tails between their legs", which is a nice image but unfortunately bollocks. Apple's next iPhone can't have an embedded SIM, the one afterwards probably can't either, but the one after that can, and probably will.

In Europe, all mobile phones are required to conform to the GSM standard. That's not optional - if you want to sell a mobile phone in Europe then it must be GSM-compatible, that's why we have such a superbly-homogonous network. GSM is not just a standard, it's a legally mandated standard, and one that includes the requirement for a removable SIM.

That would seem to make any kind of software SIM impossible, but Apple went to the operators' forum - the GSMA, which manages the GSM standard - and asked it to expand GSM to include a software SIM.

After some discussion*, and not a little browbeating, the GSMA has agreed, and last week announced that it would be creating a Task Force with a view to publishing specifications towards the end of next year.

Hardly sending Apple running, more like asking Cupertino politely to wait, though given the lack of balls on most network operators perhaps we should be impressed by that.

So the next iPhone will, as The Telegraph reports, have a removable SIM - but don't thank the network operators, as it is only their inability to do the paperwork faster that is holding Apple back.

* I'm not identifying my sources within the GSMA who told me about the discussions, but the result of them is a matter of public record.

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
Brit celebs' homes VANISH from Google's Street View
Tony Blair's digs now a Tone-y Blur
Virgin Media goes titsup AGAIN. The cause? Yet MORE DNS strife
ISP refuses to comment on why outages keep happening
10Gbps over crumbling COPPER: Boffins cram bits down telco wire
XG-FAST tech could finesse fiber connections
What the world needs now is... a Bluetooth-enabled baby's dummy
Oh NO! Temp-sensor pacifier just got dunked in my tea
BT slapped down by BSkyB over O2 broadband 'switch off' porkies
Ad watchdog tells one-time state monopoly to behave
Islamic terror peril hits US giants' phone wallets
'We have made the decision to rebrand' says ISIS Isis
BlackBerry knocks Google's KNOX LOCK PICK for Android
John Chen disses Samsung's security solution
Silent Circle takes on Skype, Viber, mobile telcos with crypto-VoIP
But, hey ... we cut the roaming charges, mumble mobile carriers
TalkTalk talks itself into trouble with budget broadband package fibs
ASA places cheap-as-chips telco on the naughty step
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization
Virtualization continues to be one of the most effective ways to consolidate, reduce cost, and make data centers more efficient.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.