When Tim Cook launches the iPhone 8 in September, he will undoubtedly name it the best phone Apple has ever made; and Samsung will say the same thing for the Galaxy S8, when it’s released on March 29 – today.
But one feature that will likely be missing in both phones is the dual-SIM card slot, divulges an insider source with a major phone maker and telecom company.
So why can’t the best phones also have these highly useful, money-saving features? After all, they’re supposed to have everything one could ever wish in a phone.
One US mobile telecom representative told Tech Radar that carriers make a lot of profit on international plans. Most of the premium devices’ users are frequent flyers and depend a lot on calling & data while roaming. That’s the reason why mobile carriers discourage Apple and Samsung from introducing dual-sim facility in their premium devices.
The source adds that the profit would evaporate if a second SIM card slot is built into these high-end phones. So, that’s one consumer-beneficial feature no one would be seeing on the biggest phone anytime soon.
Put differently; it’s not Apple or Samsung who’d become greedy; it’s the carriers that deliver their phones to users – and even the biggest phone manufacturing brands have to play by their rules.
How You Save Money With A Second SIM When Travelling
With a two SIM slots in your phone, when travelling you’ll most likely want to make calls and send texts with your regular, everyday phone line, then get a local SIM card to use for data on the second slot.
That saves you a lot of money on web surfing if you travel a lot.
Ordinarily, local network companies charge lesser rates and sometimes even with 4G LTE speeds. So, when abroad, you don’t have to pay ridiculous international data fees charged by your local network company in your home country.
But with just a single SIM slot, you’re faced with a handicap. You’ll have to choose between outrageous billed rates for an international plan, or abandon your regular phone number and switch to a local carrier.
And that makes things complicated: Your calls, SMS’s and WhatsApp messaging. You have to decide whether to dip into your travel budget or disconnect from your regular number while overseas.
We are pretty much all addicted to our mobiles.
Brendan from Openhost Domain Name Registration highlights the statistics, ”Over 50% of all Internet searches are now on smartphones. Over the 850,000 or so websites we host on our platforms more and more are responsive, and increasing numbers have mobile apps for different operating platforms. We are seeing more domains being bought that are clearly related to smartphone customers. When we go overseas we have strong habits encouraging us to use our smartphones on the Internet. Why should you have to pay an extortionate amount to do so?”
The Outrageous Costs
Take international data plan by an average US carrier, which charges a lot of money for little data. The user is practically fleeced.
For example, on AT&T’s basic international, you’re billed $40 for just 200MB, $60 for 300MB, and $120 for 800MB.
And what happens when you’re abroad? For every MB, you are charged between 15 and 25 cents.
Verizon is no better. You’re charged $25 for every 100MB. And if you sign up for unlimited received SMS’s (with only 100 outgoing SMS’s), you pay $40.
It looks better with the free global roaming offers by T-Mobile and Sprint, but the service is not the sort you will expect when travelling internationally. And they really take care of your need for a dual-SIM phone either. They offer free data, but only for 2G speeds. If you want a 3G, you’ll have to pay the premium.
How Carriers Could Decide the Fundamental Makeup of Your Phone
Now here’s the link between these costly data plans and the design of your phone. In the UK, US, Canada and some other countries in the West, you will not be able to get a dual-SIM flagship phone as a result.
Essentially, it changes the makeup of your phone.
One classic example is the unlocked ZTE Axon Mini. When it was released and reviewed in the US and UK, it had a dual-SIM slot.
But a major network company made sure that feature was killed off, for the singular reason of ripping off travellers.
When the phone was released and began to sell in Canada, it was through Virgin Mobile, who had got a two-year contract on the deal.
But surprisingly, the microSD/second SIM no longer worked for a second SIM, but only as a microSD expandable storage.
A carrier simply pulled all stops to take out a feature on the phone. That’s the amount of power they wield, in Canada for example.
But it’s a slightly different scenario in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. In these regions, phones are sold independently and are not locked and delivered by a carrier. In these places too, you can get a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge with a dual SIM.
It’s Basically About Making You Pay More
The control and pressure from the big network companies in the West are felt more in the US, carefully fashioned to make the frequent traveller pay more when they use their regular numbers on their phones.
It’s kind of like a travel tax; the idea being that if you can afford to travel, you should be able to pay their rates conveniently.