The wireless industry's biggest fear—that mobile customers could one day switch service on a whim without changing their SIM card—is coming true. Following years of opposition to technologies that would allow people to easily change carrier on the fly, the likes of Apple, Samsung and others are now working with the mobile standards organization GSMA on electronic SIM cards for consumer devices.
The Financial Times newspaper reported Thursday that Apple and Samsung are “in advanced talks” with mobile telecom groups on a standardized embedded SIM card for consumer devices, the so-called e-SIM.
As we continue to uncover interesting tidbits following Apple's introduction of the flagship iPhone 5s and the plastic iPhone 5c this morning, a little-appreciated fact has now come to light. Both new iPhones are offered in four different hardware varieties each versus three different cellular versions of the iPhone 5.
The consolidated 5s/5c models offer more LTE bands than before, but the coolest thing is that in the United States a single version now supports AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. Additionally, a different version of the handsets will provide compatibility with Sprint and Japan's KDDI and Softbank carriers.
Previously, there used to be two different US flavors of the iPhone 5, one for the AT&T and T-Mobile and the other for Verizon and Sprint networks...
Doesn't it bother you that Apple sells its LTE devices like the iPhone 5 and latest iPads in a bunch of variants, depending on your carrier and geographical location? For example, the iPhone comes in two GSM models and one CDMA version. Blame it on the limitations with existing wireless chipsets, not Apple. Long-Term Evolution (LTE) is a fantastic technology, but it's also highly fragmented.
And with nearly fifty different cellular bands in use globally worldwide, no wonder LTE is a bag of hurt, one that has introduced fragmentation unlike any other cellular radio technology before it.
Fortunately, chip maker Qualcomm has announced a new cellular solution which supports as much as 40 different bands on a single chip. It could finally allow Apple to build a truly global iPhone model that could support all implementations of the major cellular technologies used by carriers the world over...
I can confirm that the Verizon iPhone 5 is indeed GSM unlocked. Even though I bought an iPhone 5 from Verizon under contract, I was able to cut down my AT&T Micro SIM, and use it in my Verizon iPhone 5 to pick up an AT&T signal. By doing so, I was able to hop onto AT&T's HPSA+ network, or "4G" as they so ridiculously name it.
AT&T's so-called 4G speeds are nothing like true LTE speeds, but they are a bit better than typical 3G speeds. But the big news here isn't about speed. The big news here is that we have confirmed that you can use a Verizon iPhone 5 on AT&T or T-Mobile, freely, even if you're a brand new customer under contract.
Apple may have only announced two versions of the new iPhone 5, CDMA and GSM, but some sharp folks have pointed out that there are actually three different versions of the handset.
As it turns out, fragmented LTE technology has forced the company to manufacture not one, but two different versions of the GSM iPhone, in addition to the CDMA one. Here's why...
As 9to5 Mac first reported, Apple has released an updated version of iOS 5.1.1 for the iPhone 4 GSM. The build for this latest version is 9B208, while the previous version was 9B206. Interestingly enough, the release is only for the iPhone 4 GSM, and it's likely a small bug fix given its slight build number difference.
Either way, we recommend that you hold off on updating until given the all clear is sounded with regard to jailbreak compatibility. Make sure your save your iOS 5.1.1 SHSH blobs so that you can take advantage of a future downgrade if need be.
Great news today for folks with a GSM iPhone 4S who are using, or planning to use, GEVEY's Ultra S product to unlock their handset. It appears the popular SIM interposer is compatible with the new iOS 5.1.1 update.
Apple released the update yesterday, equipped with a handful of bug fixes and improvements. And although its future is still a bit murky for jailbreakers, it looks like it's ok for unlockers to upgrade...
Chinese iPhone hacker Loktar_Sun has released a method for unlocking a jailbroken iPhone by yourself using Sam Bingner's SAM (Subscriber Artificial Module) package.
The unlock technique has been verified by iPhone Dev Team member MuscleNerd. He was able to unlock his iPhone 4S and get it running on T-Mobile's network.
This is very big news for iPhone owners everywhere, and means we don't have to wait for AT&T to unlock our phones if we want to use it on another GSM network.
Check inside for more details...
I'll admit that I've never used a Gevey SIM interposer, or anything like it in the past, but I figured I'd give it a shot with the iPhone 4S.
The iPhone 4S has its own special SIM interposer called the R-SIM II Ultra S, which was recently released.
I'm happy to report that this is by far the easiest method for "unlocking" your iPhone 4S, and using it with T-Mobile or virtually any other GSM carrier. And guess what, no jailbreak is required.
Check out our review of the iPhone 4S R-SIM tool inside...
Early GSM iPhone 4S adopters may be happy to hear that Twitter user xoicos has found a way to unlock the new handset using a bug in iOS 5. Of course, we know that Apple sells unlocked phones outright, but they are considerably more expensive.
Unlocking a device means that you are be able to activate it on other wireless carriers outside of the one you purchased the phone on. Initially, unlocking the iPhone required complexed baseband tweaking, but now it could be as easy as following these steps...
Following the news earlier that the iPhone 4S won't be available as an unlocked device until November, it's also worth noting that only customers on GSM carriers will be able to unlock the 4S.
Apple touted the iPhone 4S as a "world phone" capable of running on both GSM and CDMA networks, but as usual there seems to be more involved when it comes to the fine print. Unfortunately, an unlocked iPhone 4S will only work on GSM networks...
Those keeping up with yesterday's iPhone 4S event probably noticed a rather interesting tidbit saying that Apple's iPhone 4S is, in theory at least, up to twice as fast at downloading data as its older brother, the iPhone 4. That's obviously great news, and Apple sought to inform its audience yesterday that the iPhone 4S can compete with so-called 4G handsets.
The truth of the matter is that yes, the iPhone 4S can (again, theoretically) download data at up to 14.4Mbps, thanks to its use of HSPA+ technology. The problem? AT&T is the only one of Apple's three US carrier partners that actually uses HSPA+...