Apple has given up on its plan to bypass operators after they warned that they would refuse to continue subsidising the cost of the expensive phones. At present mobile operators pay Apple the full £375 cost of the phone, which they pass on to consumers for free if they sign up for 24-month contracts.
Apple had wanted to exclude operators, such as Vodafone and O2, from the sale process in order to build a more direct relationship with customers. The Californian technology giant had been working on plans to create an integrated SIM card so that consumers could buy the phone without having to sign up to operators' long-term contracts.
A senior source at a mobile operator told the Sunday Telegraph: "Apple has long been trying to build closer and closer relationships and cut out the operators. But this time they have been sent back to the drawing board with their tails between their legs."
Interestingly, Apple is said to be continuing with its plans to integrate the SIM card into the iPad. Since the iPad isn't subsidized by carriers, Apple wouldn't risk its relationships with mobile carriers.
The article continues by predicting a new iPad within a few weeks with a mute button instead of a lock button. This feature change is actually just a modification coming in the new iOS firmware; rather, then a new device itself.