Apple has just received a patent for wireless activation and this could continue to give its iPhone a head’s up against the competition, as well as potentially let iPhone owners have more control of their devices.
As you probably know, the Apple iPhone lets you take the device home and connect it to iTunes to activate it. This can mean the actual phone-buying time is greatly reduced, although iTunes can be hammered on launch days.
Apple has received a patent for this type of wireless activation and this could mean that the carriers won’t have as strong of a pull on the next version of the smartphone.
According to Patently Apple:
According to one aspect of the invention, the service provider signing process may be repeated for different SIM cards such that more than one activation ticket may be stored on the device. Each activation ticket stored on the device corresponds to one of the SIM cards that were inserted into the device during the signing process. In this manner, the mobile device may be prepared for activation with different service providers corresponding to the different SIM cards used during the signing process (as long as the subscriber accounts with those service providers are still valid at the time of activation).
This potentially means that you could buy the iPhone 5 and, if it had the right radios in it, could hop between applicable networks. It’s still way too early to tell if that will happen though, as carriers are sure to want to exert control but this could be a positive step for end users.
[Via Patently Apple]