And you thought Google was evil?
Apple ripped off the music industry yesterday, the publishing industry today and it will rip off the telecoms industry tomorrow. If this news from GigaOM is true, then Apple might be skipping the telecom operators and will go directly to the consumers through a special SIM card.
Apparently Apple is working with Gemalto on a special SIM card which will allow customers to activate the phone with Apple Store. Apple Store, which now has thousands of apps for iPad and iPhone, might soon provide an option to pick a carrier too. The rip off is only partial to the telcos as the calls should still go through the carriers networks. What Apple is doing here is taking the operators out of the supply chain dynamics and eliminating the need to break the iPhone from carrier clutches. This will definitely increase iPhone sales as Apple will be adding the web-orders facility.
This is a model which will become hugely popular in India. Because this is much like the Dual SIM model which is already popular here. People like flexibility and freedom. Indian telecom has given 700 million subscribers just that. It has given more freedom than anyone could ever ask for. Dual SIM phones come at a fraction of a cost of an iPhone, but we are not talking about the same segment of the market.
Imagine this. You open up an iPhone and are given the option to choose between Airtel, Uninor and DoCoMo. Just the kind of thing Dual SIM mobiles offer. Maybe with the increased sales, Apple might bring the cost of the iPhone down. In the US the cost of the device is shared between the carrier and Apple. Not so in India. The cost has been paid in full. America might find it tough to digest, Europe will adapt and India will think.
[Picture credit Flickr user Anthony Sigalas]
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