The days of the iPhone being exclusive to AT&T are over. Nationwide and worldwide, users have the option of multiple wireless carriers.
According to a report by AppleInsider, Apple has filed a parent named “Method and Apparatus for Using a Wireless Communication Device with Multiple Service Providers”. This feature could be included in future iPhones, and it will allow users to select features and prices they are willing to pay. The phone will then show a list of suitable phone plans that meet the user’s need.
A scenario for this could be that some users may want unlimited data, but only wish to pay upto $40. The phone will then show a list of carriers that will offer this to them. From there, users can select their carrier of choice and sign up for it.
This move will probably eliminate the SIM card from iPhones, and make the iPhone a “world-phone” as many reports consider the iPhone 5 to be.
Many carriers fear; this way they will loose millions of subscribers and Apple will be in more control of iPhones. For the customer and Apple, however, this would be great news. The concept will give Apple more flexibility and customers will have greater choice.
This concept will probably not make it in the next generation iPhone. But, will hopefully be added to future phones. The iPhone 5 is expected to be released in September or October this year, with the announcement as early as this month! Features in the device are rumored to be the A5 chip, larger display and a thinner bezel.