Apple Won't Go It Alone With the iPhone 5: Report - NBC Bay Area

Apple Won't Go It Alone With the iPhone 5: Report



    Apple Won't Go It Alone With the iPhone 5: Report
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    SAN FRANCISCO - JUNE 07: An attendee inspects the new iPhone 4 at the 2010 Apple World Wide Developers conference June 7, 2010 in San Francisco, California. Apple CEO Steve Jobs kicked off their annual WWDC with the announcement of the new iPhone 4.. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    The iPhone 4 hasn't even fixed its antenna problem or made its Verizon debut, but there are already rumors of the iPhone 5 coming out.

    The next-generation iPhone rumors are coming complete with a release date and assurances for network carriers everywhere.

    Early reports of the iPhone 5 floated the idea that perhaps Apple would install its own SIM card and possibly cut out carriers all together.

    But the Financial Times is reporting "people close to the operators" say Apple has told carriers it will not pre-install a SIM on the new iPhones, which will reportedly hit the market in the middle of next year.

    Carriers feared that if Apple installed a SIM on its new iPhone that Apple could go the way of Virgin Mobile, which rents cell space from carriers and then sells its own coverage to customers directly.

    Possibly playing into Apple's decision to stay with its current model of partnering with global carriers to provide service for the iPhone was a threat of refusing to subsidize the cost of the smartphone for customers.

    Currently in the United States, AT&T pays Apple a fee to offset Apple's asking price and make it cheaper for the customer to get a phone. AT&T in turn gets to lock customers in for a two-year period.

    An unsubsidized iPhone can costs upwards of $600 depending on where you live.