Whilst only 7 million embedded SIMs shipped in 2012 the advent of
standards and subscription management are expected to result in 195
million devices including the technology by the end of 2017. Many assume
that MNOs will be the biggest losers if embedded SIMs crossover into
smartphones, tablets and consumer electronics devices. However, a new
report from ABI Research concludes that, whilst the likes of Apple and
Google would benefit from the introduction of embedded SIMs, it is the
MNOs that potentially have the most to gain.
Apple and Google have already taken the lead in terms of brand
recognition and loyalty amongst their customers and they sell and
distribute their own devices directly to consumers. Both also have
strong and well-populated app stores which provide them with the means
to activate and personalize devices as well as service provision.
It is not all one way traffic against MNOs. The ability to switch
networks would certainly open new M2M applications and broaden their
appeal to hesitant customers. The larger potential is in the area of
consumer electronics and handsets. Rather than osing control and
increasing churn, embedded SIMs would allow MNOs to adopt flexible
subscription management, improved device distribution and activation
processes as well as removing the current burden of SIM card inventory.
Security & ID Practice Director, John Devlin, said, "My recommendation
would be for MNOs to embrace such technological developments like
embedded SIMs and to drive the market forward rather than looking to
block and stifle competition with closed business practices. A more open
and progressive stance would increase their appeal, open up new business
models and use cases as well as drive innovation and build customer
loyalty. It would also undoubtedly increase their competitiveness
against any likely new entrants."
The arguments for and against embedded SIMs are reviewed and discussed
in the report "Embedded
SIMs for M2M, Mobile and CE Mobile Devices", published as part of
ABI Research's SIM
Card Research Service.
ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of
trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From
offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research's worldwide team
of experts advises thousands of decision makers through 40+ research and
advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com,
or call +1.516.624.2500.
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