Since Apple first brought us the iPhone back in 2007 they have proved to be a blessing for some carriers, and a curse for other networks. At first the company pushed for network exclusives, which proved how strong the brand was. But with competition intensifying Apple are looking at ways to stay one step ahead.
An article over at The Register is asking if Apple’s hand is being forced in making concessions to carriers with upcoming products. Recently stand in CEO Tim Cook commented on the structure of handset sales, and that Apple would try and provide new solutions for the market. In the future iPads and iPhones might be transferable between carriers, so the customer would be dealing mainly with Apple.
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There has also been talk of dual-mode devices which could work on CDMA and GSM, and an integrated SIM card which would be activated by Apple. This would weaken the strangle hold networks would have over customers. This was not the case though with the iPad 2, as in certain markets there were more concessions to carriers then the original iPad.
The mobile networks are still the largest way for manufacturers to get their devices to the public, and even a company as big as Apple cannot afford to alginate them too much. Apple needs to change with the times now they face bigger competition from the likes of Android. But they haven’t got where they are today by standing still, and always seem to have the knack of surprising us with innovative ideas in recent years.