Many retain from Apple’s latest keynote on September 12, 2017, the launch of the iPhone X, but there is another innovation, presented that day, which risks transforming the Telecom industry much more in the years to come …

Apple-Watch-series-3

Many retain from Apple’s latest keynote on September 12, 2017, the launch of the iPhone X, impressive design (a screen that covers the entire surface), its facial recognition technology, and its stratospheric price. But there is another innovation, presented that day, which risks transforming the Telecom industry much more in the years to come …

Apple’s new connected watch, the iWatch 3, now integrates a SIM card, making it independent of the iPhone. And this SIM card is not trivial. Because it is an eSIM, also called Embedded SIM. Much smaller than a current nano SIM, but mostly welded. And therefore not interchangeable. This technology is essential to reduce the bulk, increase waterproofing and reduce energy consumption.

This means in clear that the telecom operator then loses control of the SIM card, the last real point of control of the customer. 

Changing operators will therefore simply change their contract, which can be done online (on their smartphone), at any time, why not under the control of Apple, without requiring a new SIM card.

The eSIM of Apple is not new. It has already been integrated in some iPAD,

marketed in the US (partners: AT & T, Sprint, T-Mobile …), offering a transparent connection in 180 countries. But the European operators did not follow. Until now.

The eSIM is the risk for the Telecom Operator, being relegated to the role of simple pipe operator, losing much of the value perceived by the consumer. It is possible, and even likely, to see Apple and Google (Android) become virtual operators, which will market mobile subscriptions (voice, data), based on purchasing volumes from Telecom Operators in different countries, reduced to operate a physical network that most consumers will not even know the name. Regulatory pressure (especially in Europe) on tariffs and roaming, will only add to this pressure on Telecom Operators vis-à-vis the GAFA giants (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon).

Nothing new in fact. It is a natural evolution … Look at the operators of Water, Gas, Electricity in Europe. Who still knows the company behind its Electricity distribution network? Or water? Probably few of you. On the other hand, we know all the commercial operators who sell you Water, Gas or Electricity, and who fight with promotional offers, comparatives, even value-added services (on savings to be realized) …

This is the major risk currently faced by Telecom Operators. That of becoming a supplier of pipes. It is not surprising that they all embark on the commercialization of higher value-added products, such as applications, or in the commercialization of APIs enabling advanced use of their private networks, always making sure to integrate as much as possible applications to their own network, in order to force a link with the client, and thus make the operator change more complex …

The arrival of Apple’s iWatch 3 could therefore be the real highlight of Apple’s keynote of September 12, 2017. It will be interesting to see how Telecom Operators will position themselves in the weeks and months ahead of this new technology integrated into Apple iWatch 3 …

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