Apple has been able to do something to carriers that other haven’t over the years – get it’s way. From branding to distribution to something as “small” as the SIM card, they’ve dictated their own terms. If you hadn’t noticed, Apple has pushed the envelope over the years by introducing their own standards on the SIM card front. First with 3FF (micro) and then 4FF (nano) and now with the Apple SIM. Long story short, it’s a programmable carrier-agnostic chip. Yes, that’s correct. On it’s current trend, you’ll never have to think about SIM cards ever again. For many that’s a good thing – choice, convenience and less little parts to worry about. For many carriers it’s a pain because it encourages mobility from service.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere has taken to Twitter to explain how the recently announced Apple SIM works in the new iPad Mini 3 and iPad Air 2, highlighting how competitors continue to make it difficult for customers to switch operators. He pointed out (correctly) that Verizon is having none of this, and that Sprint and T-Mobile are embracing the idea. AT&T is using them, but are locking it to AT&T once you activate, so there’s that.
Is this the beginning of the end of the SIM? Perhaps, but it’s not hitting phones just yet, rather iPads. Wouldn’t you rather not worry about it and program it with a simple piece of software?