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Call it the Godzilla Problem. Apple is so big and influential that any move it makes will have enormous consequences for someone, somewhere. If Godzilla takes a walk, he leaves enormous footprints (and, let’s be honest, a bunch of crushed stuff) behind him.
And like any large corporation (or nuclear Kaiju), Apple knows when it’s time to tread lightly and when it’s time to throw its weight around. Any choice it makes–especially where the iPhone is concerned–can move markets, make or break suppliers, and distort the trajectory of the tech industry.
When Apple announced the iPhone, it broke the control that wireless carriers had over our phones. Apple would bring the iPhone to the company that agreed to keep its paws off the phone’s Apple-built interface, AT&T (then Cingular) agreed, and the rest is history.
With the iPhone 14 models, Apple is using its weight to drive the adoption of a new technology: eSIMs. For years, all cellphones included a tiny smart card called a SIM that contained the “identity” of those devices so that they could connect to the cellular network. As time went on, it became superfluous–that information could just as easily be stored on devices and even transferred from device to device. And so someone invented the eSIM, which did just that, and SIM cards were destined for doom.
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