The Apple-branded cross-carrier SIM chips in the latest iPad models seem like such a great idea on paper: sell users a device that’s all ready to be activated with the carrier of their choice, without needing to install new hardware. As we’ve seen, though, the reality of the situation hasn’t been quite so smooth and idyllic, but the existence of this component alone sure felt like a step in the right direction. Despite all the potential such SIMs offer, it doesn’t sound like you should bet on finding one in your next iPhone, though, as Apple VP Greg Joswiak explains why the Apple SIM is a much better fit for tablets than smartphones.
The crux of the difference between iPhone and iPad sales, as Joswiak describes it, is that while many users will buy a tablet from Apple itself or another non-carrier-affiliated retailer, they’re much more likely to get an iPhone directly from the carrier on which they intend to receive cellular service. So while there’s a clear benefit to freeing iPad owners from having to make a second stop at a carrier store or waiting for that new SIM by mail, chances are that most new iPhone buyers are already getting their phone bundled with the carrier SIM they need.
While Joswiak clarifies that Apple has yet to formally discuss the possibility of putting an Apple SIM on the company’s next iPhone (or even transitioning to such a model for future iPhone 6 sales), his comments make such an outcome sound exceedingly remote.
That said, he does seem to have a good point here, and in the absence of any big shake-up to how iPhones are sold, carrier-specific SIMs seem adequate enough for the vast majority of users.