In 2011, Apple entertained the idea of testing phone service, becoming a mobile virtual network, and becoming a re-seller of service from major carrier’s network. By doing that, Apple could sell phones and service to customers directly all over the world, cutting out customers’ direct relationships with carriers. However, last year, Apple denied these reports that it was testing mobile phone service.
What initially brought the idea closer to reality was the iPad Pro, which has an embedded SIM (e-SIM) that can switch between multiple carriers, instead of inserting a different SIM to switch your mobile carrier.
Whether they were testing the mobile network idea or not, you won’t be able to get Apple service when you rent your iPhone directly from Apple: CEO Tim Cook says that the company simply doesn’t have the expertise to do that, even leasing network capacity from the major carriers in each country.
9to5Mac reports in an interview at StartupFest Europe, Cook definitively ruled out the MVNO idea, saying that Apple prefers to provide services globally. “We don’t have the network skill,” he told the crowd. “We’ll do some things… with e-SIMs along the way, but in general, I like the things carriers do.”
We can probably expect SIMs to be embedded in phones and tables in the near future, but Apple won’t be selling service for them directly.
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