Monday, 28 March 2011

Unlock IPhone 5 : Impossible?

A recent report shades some light on the future of the next-gen iPhone, maybe even the upcoming iPhone 5. Apple is now getting ready to include in future smartphones its own custom SIM that means Cupertino is thinking about avoiding any carrier hassles when it comes to iPhone sales, but it also can deal with future iPhone unlocking problems.
3g iphone sim card

Apple is said to work closely with Gemalto to make the special SIM card that would be pre-loaded on future handsets. That would make the future iPhone purchase a lot easier than before as iPhone customers will basically get a working handset right out of the box without having to worry about activating it immediately with a carrier. Apple would include an “app for that” and the iPhone owner would be able to select the carrier he or she wants to use from within the app.
That would render carriers almost useless when it comes to selling the device as customers would be able to go directly to Apple and order the device. But since the carrier is not as involved anymore, does that mean we won’t have subsidized iPhone offers in the future? Will Apple sell the device at full-price, which is an expensive alternative for most iPhone fans? The whole custom SIM card story is just a rumor for now and we’re waiting for either Apple or Gemalto to confirm any of this.
This unconfirmed plan seems to have been put in motion specifically for Europe, a region where there are lots of iPhone carriers already selling various iPhone models and where most exclusivity deals have already expired. Such an iPhone selling method would definitely be in Apple’s advantage, but I don’t think carriers will give up on making cash off Apple’s iPhone and some sort of subsidized deals will still be in order.
But since it’s likely carriers will find a way to offer iPhone deals and special 2-year contracts, does that mean the smartphone will not be as easily unlocked as it currently is? Sure changing carriers seems to be a lot easier to do through an Apple and Gemalto SIM management application, but if you happen to be locked in a contract with carrier X, then could you use the device on any other local network before your contract expires?
Would the custom SIM card use be mandatory? Would it be user-replaceable with usual micro SIM cards? Will we see this design and functionality changes adopted by the iPhone 5 or is this a plan for the distant future of the iPhone? It’s too early to answer all these questions but we’ll keep tabs on this particular Apple magical endeavor and come back with more news for you.

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