Well, if rumors are to be believed, Apple may be trying to follow in the footsteps of Google with the method by which it sells the iPhone to consumers. However, where many people have said they see it meeting with the same amount of success as the Nexus One, I think people are missing one key factor when they say this: It’s the freakin’ iPhone.
GigaOm is reporting that rumors are circulating that Apple is talking with SIM-card manufacturer Gemalto about producing a special embedded SIM card for the iPhone that would allow users to choose the carrier they will use the phone with. The idea is that you will purchase the iPhone from Apple’s website or you’ll pick one up at the company’s retail stores. Once you’re home, and connected to iTunes, you’ll be able to use an app to choose your carrier, meaning even less contact with the carrier.
Many people are likening this to Google’s Nexus One project wherein the company sold the phones directly, but at first the only carrier you could use, at least in the United States, was T-Mobile. You also had to buy the phone at retail price, which made a large difference.
This is a different game, though, this is the iPhone, the most desired cell phone in the world right now. While carriers offered no incentives to bring the Nexus One to their network, you know the opposite will happen with Apple’s handset. Yes, you may pay full price for the iPhone at the time of purchase, but when you get carriers battling it out to be the network of choice for the phone, I can see the companies doing things like offering you a $300 credit on your monthly bills if you sign a two-year contract to bring your iPhone to them. What carrier wouldn’t want to say they have been chosen more than any other by iPhone owners?
The other big winner in such a scenario would be Apple itself. They would now be collecting all the money directly as opposed to having to deal with a middleman that is sure to cause delays and extra expenses for the company.
For the time being the rumors are indicating this is only happening in Europe, but if it’s successful there, and Apple does finally let its exclusivity with AT&T end, you can bet money it’ll happen in the USA also.
What say you? Are you ready to take the iPhone to the carrier of your choice?