What is preventing manufacturers from removing the SIM card?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by youdontsay, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. youdontsay macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2013
    #1
    It's all in the title! I just wanted to have your thought on this. Obviously it would help simplify the design, the waterproofing, it would be more ecological, etc. But more than that, it would be considerably easier for users to switch between carriers.

    I'm not in favor of removing things like the headphone jack, as it is still relevant nowadays (but in 2 to 3 years with USB C audio developing, it might not be the case). That being said, I can't find any advantages to keep this old tech that is the SIM card.
     
  2. Audit13 macrumors 65816

    Audit13

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #2
    Having an unlocked phone and changing to a different carrier by swapping SIM cards is what I prefer. I don't have to contact the carrier to register my phone on their network or when I change phones.

    The only sim-free carriers at the moment use CDMA and it was a pain anytime I wanted to change phones or even carriers when I was with a Canadian CDMA carrier.
     
  3. Vegastouch macrumors 603

    Vegastouch

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #3
    Nothing wrong with with SIM cards. I think they all should have them. Pretty easy to change carriers. Samsung found a way to water seal it even with micro SD card slot.
     
  4. Newtons Apple macrumors P6

    Newtons Apple

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    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #4
    I am afraid I will be another vote for SIM cards. Only takes me a few minutes to move from one phone to another and does not cost a penny. I would be AT&T would charge you if you had to get them to do this.

    No thanks, keep the SIM
     
  5. nia820 macrumors 68020

    nia820

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    #5
    I prefer to keep Sim cards. I'm generally back and forth between two countries and have two different Sim cards.

    Sim cards make it easier for you to change carriers.
     
  6. aakshey macrumors 6502

    aakshey

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    Jun 13, 2016
    #6
    Apple has already done this with the new iPad Pros.
     
  7. Newtons Apple macrumors P6

    Newtons Apple

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    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #7
    ???

    My cellular 10.5 has a SIM slot holding my AT&T SIM card.
     
  8. JPack macrumors 68000

    JPack

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2017
    #8
    That's exactly the reason why telecom operators are dragging their feet.

    Apple wants to use embedded SIM or soft SIM for wearables, but carriers don't want consumers to switch easily.

    Any time you ask a question, consider all stakeholders, not just the view from consumers.
     
  9. GrumpyMom macrumors 603

    GrumpyMom

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2014
    #9
    I think getting rid of the SIM card would give the carriers too easy of an opportunity to charge administrative fees for switch overs between phones. Even now we've had occasional run ins with AT&T pulling little stunts on us when we have switched sims among our many and varied phones. I can't recall offhand what happened but I remember my husband having to call and argue with them to get his phone back in working order after switching his main sim between his iPhone and his S8+, despite both being on AT&T. He said he got the impression from his chat with them that they'd like more control over what we do with our phones.

    If Apple does away with SIM cards I would wait and see how people get along without a sim and would give up Apple before giving up freedom to use whichever one of my phones I want when I want to.
     
  10. JPack macrumors 68000

    JPack

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2017
    #10
    Actually, it would be the complete opposite. Carriers would be less likely to charge fees.

    An embedded SIM allows remote provisioning. The barriers to stealing one customer from another carrier are lowered. The provisioning is done remotely without manufacturing and distributing SIM cards. It's like switching long distance carriers - you don't get charged fees.

    There's a reason why telecos want to keep removable SIM cards.
     
  11. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    #11
    In a utopia, maybe.

    Real world, you'd have carriers like Sprint and Verizon not wanting to unlock your phone for use with other carriers. I know Verizon phones are unlocked but they wouldn't be if not for the FCC mandate.

    Also, access is an issue. For example, I can just pop in a H2O Wireless SIM on my iPhone on $10/3 month pay as you go service. If we go electronic activation, choices of plans and carriers may be limited.
     
  12. JesperA macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 10, 2012
    Location:
    Sweden
    #12
    Don't know why so many choose SIM cards, if the exact same functionality can be done without it, why have it? Imagine just adding a carrier or several into the carrier settings on your phone and just have a list of your registered carriers, you can switch between them easily with just a tap on the screen, much easier than switching sim cards.

    The argument about "carriers would never allow it" is irrelevant and is exactly the reason why we are stuck with SIM cards
     
  13. JPack macrumors 68000

    JPack

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2017
    #13
    That's an issue with buying a subsidized phone or a consumer affairs issue.

    For the rest of the world where consumers buy unlocked phones and carriers unlock in a timely manner for a reasonable fee, SIM cards are a hindrance.
     
  14. JackieInCo macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    Location:
    Colorado
    #14
    It also has an eSim or Apple sim. I have both Sprint and T-Mobile activated on my iPad Pro with just the Apple sim alone. You can't do that with a regular sim card so Apple included a sim card slot.
     
  15. Newtons Apple macrumors P6

    Newtons Apple

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    #15
    But there is a SIM. That is what I am saying.
     
  16. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #16
    That's the beauty of GSM.
    You just swap in and out any sim and you're good to go.
    You dont have to call up any carriers tech support to setup a new device to your account with your phone number. You dont have to jump through hoops or verify your identity or passwords etc....
    I wouldn't want to give that freedom away.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 25, 2017 ---
    Yeah right, they charge activation fees now even when you bring in your own phone.
    They will make up new ways to nickel and dime us more.
    Carrier charge less fees? Yeah right :D
     
  17. JesperA macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 10, 2012
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    Sweden
    #17
    How exactly is that more convenient than if you could just do the switch in software, it could just be 1 tap in the carrier settings
     
  18. JPack macrumors 68000

    JPack

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2017
    #18
    Manufacturing and distributing SIM cards is a big barrier to entry for many wireless carriers.

    Lower the barriers to entry and you have more competition.

    Activation fees are signs and symptoms of insufficient competition in your marketplace.
     
  19. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    #19
    SIM cards are cheap. The biggest barrier to entry is licensing wireless spectrum and infrastructure.
     
  20. GrumpyMom macrumors 603

    GrumpyMom

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    Sep 11, 2014
    #20
    Well the thing is, now when I want to switch between phones using one phone number, I pop the SIM card out of one phone and pop it in the other. Even if the provisioning was originally done on an IPhone, when I change the sim into my Samsung normally all my features are ready to go. Once in a great while they aren't all working as they should for whatever reason, and my husband has to call AT&T and they almost always want to charge him for something and always give in when he says "No".

    Now if going simless means all I have to do is type in some setting changes on one phone and then type in some more changes on the other phone to switch between two phones using one number, hey, sure I can get on board with that. That sounds more convenient than finding my sim tool and squinting at my bitty little SIM card with my 50 year old eyes.

    But if by remote provisioning you mean I have to involve AT&T every time I want to switch between my Android and my iPhone on my main number, I must politely decline the idea. They are a nice carrier but the less I have to talk to, text to or even think about them, the better.
     
  21. 576316 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    #21
    I understand the logic and ease of a SIM card...but don't you think they feel ancient? I seldom have to see one, or change one, but when I do I can't help thinking, 'There must be a better way of doing this. This feels terribly old fashioned.'
     
  22. JPack macrumors 68000

    JPack

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2017
    #22
    Not since the introduction of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) like Google Project Fi.

    The distribution of SIMs is costly and time consuming. There are very few reasons to keep them around.
     
  23. SYCAMOREGRAD macrumors newbie

    SYCAMOREGRAD

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    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #23
    I have the new 12.9” I purchased from at&t. There’s a sim tray, but it’s empty. They’re using Apple sim.
     
  24. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #24
    All I can say to this idea is, it's been done. And it didn't work out well.

    See the Sprint iPhone 4. Only iPhone 4 without a SIM slot. Locked to Sprint forever with no way to ever unlock it.

    That is the form this kind of thing will take.

    And if you want it so it's SIMless and all you have to do is use software to switch carriers better be ready to lobby Congress for new laws.
     
  25. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #25
    It's never just 1 tap in settings.
    It's about carrier control.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 25, 2017 ---
    Yes we have many insufficient symptoms here and putting more power and control on the carriers hands will only make it worse.
     

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