Each new iPhone is usually good news for mobile network operators. The latest Apple Inc. device always comes with upgrades that make it easier to play games, watch films and download reams of data. More data means bigger phone bills.
There’s a chance, though, that Wednesday’s arrival of the next generation of iPhones might not be so welcome. That’s because there’s a possibility that Apple could introduce so-called electronic sims, or eSIMs. Even if this doesn’t happen this time around, the shift to the new technology looks inevitable.
Speculation about eSIMs has been rife since Apple complained to the U.S. Department of Justice that Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc. were colluding to prevent their introduction. The DoJ is investigating.
The classic SIM card is a small chip that’s inserted into the phone manually — making it more awkward to change your mobile network provider. You have to go to a shop to get a new sim or have one delivered physically. The eSIM is virtual, meaning that just changing your phone’s settings would theoretically allow you to switch carriers.
It’s almost certain that this would accelerate price competition. Whenever it’s made easier to jump from one operator to another, consumers take advantage and seek better deals. “Churn,” the industry term for customer losses, spikes. That’s what happened, for example, when Spain brought in rules to cut the time it took to change network operators to less than 24 hours.competition. Whenever it’s made easier to jump from one operator to another, consumers take advantage and seek better deals. “Churn,” the industry term for customer losses, spikes. That’s what happened, for example, when Spain brought in rules to cut the time it took to change network operators to less than 24 hours.
Nokia Corp (NOKIA.HE) said on Wednesday it had filed a number of lawsuits against Apple Inc (AAPL.O) for violating 32 technology patents, striking back at the iPhone maker’s legal action targeting the one-time cellphone industry leader a day earlier.
Nokia’s lawsuits, filed in courts in Dusseldorf, Mannheim and Munich, Germany, and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, cover patents for displays, user interfaces, software, antennas, chipsets and video coding.
“Since agreeing a licence covering some patents from the Nokia Technologies portfolio in 2011, Apple has declined subsequent offers made by Nokia to licence other of its patented inventions which are used by many of Apple’s products,” Nokia said in a statement.