Why is international travel technology so antiquated?

Discussion in 'Travel Technology' started by jbcarioca, Oct 14, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Just now on another thread i was ranting about this problem:

    1) No smartphone has multiple sims so most of us end out carrying several phones (I have five);
    2) Even if you carry multiple sims and just swap them in the same phone (I do that for a couple of countries with my iPhone 4) the phone address books wil not adapt to dialing prefixes and telephone list conventions;
    3) Almost all, including iPhone store numbers according to the convention of the language you choose, not the country you're in;
    4) Zero way to have true multi-currency plastic card function. I have credit cards from only three countries (I just closed two) but even airlines cannot accomodate different cards by country;
    5) Just try to synch email, Apple Store, Amazon etc by country. Big problems;
    6) There are so many more issues...

    Am I one of only a few people affected by this?

    P.S. Years ago I developed a credit card that would automatically bill against up to twenty different currencies/accounts thus simplifying life for global travelers. It worked a dream for a handful of Private Banking customers, and was never offered anywhere else. I loved it! ..but I never managed to use it myself. After a merger the bank dropped the product and a few customers were infuriated. Today I'd pay a small fortune for such a card instead of my briefcase full of wallets/cards/ID's for each country.
     
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  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    In comparison to the vast majority of smartphone users.... Yes. The market for multi-SIM phones is probably rather small, so it probably doesn't make much sense for, say, Apple to put that featur into every phone they make.

    My requirement is even more difficult: I have a great international data roaming plan on my iPhone and would like to use that when abroad, but for voice I'd like to use my "local" SIM. The only way I can accomplish that is with two phones.

    I think phone numbers shouldn't be formatted according to the country YOU are in, but according to the country code of the phone number. Eg why should a US number suddenly be displayed differently when I get off the flight in FRA?
     
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  3. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    I am in the same situation for some countries, but my plan works well in some places and not others. There are a few user-selectable such phones around, HTC has some, for example. But I want my iPhone to do this stuff! There is an external piggy back extra sim case that is sold in Hong Kong and China, at least, but it is klugy and I do not like it at all.
     
  4. Espan

    Espan Silver Member

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    in many Latin American countries serviced by several providers, locals carry and maintain 2-3-4 different cell phones and numbers, since calls are far cheaper from same provider to same provider and they never know for sure who they have to call and w/ what provider
     
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  5. Espan

    Espan Silver Member

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    personally, I'm not sure I want/need a dual sim (I've looked at a few). I tend to go local SIM for local calls and Wi-Fi/Skype for most/all of my international calls
     
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  6. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    I did not refer to that because I thought it a less important issue from MilePoint perspective, but I carry three phones for Brazil, one of which I use mostly for Skype, usually the cheapest landline solution.
     
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  7. Espan

    Espan Silver Member

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    yr right of course, probably not as important to most MP folk
     
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  8. Gargoyle
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    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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  9. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Yes, but the question was about smartphones. There are indeed dual sim phones, but the higher-end smartphones (Android, iPhone) tend to not be among them.
     
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  10. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I would love to have a single, adaptable card that I could use for any and all purchases. I even recall some work toward this end where you could press a button and the card number would change so, for example, you could have three credit cards and a debit card on the same piece of plastic. This, along with the other suggestions from the OP would be great, but I can't imagine they'd be free any time soon (or ever). Their usefulness to most people would be relatively insignificant, at least insignificant enough that most customers would continue to pay the extra fees rather than push for a new product.
     
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  11. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    These options are already available. free, within a number of countries. They have options of debit, deferred debit, credit line, and also single-purchase financing. Almost every POS card payment in Brazil offers the option to finance the individual purchase, or not. Singapore, Israel, Chile, Hong Kong and many other countries have some of those choices. Oddly, any issuer that processes on one of the largest global card processors (I will not say their name) has that capability, even though many of them do not know the functions exist in their systems. They do require some POS changes.
     
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  12. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    I dont understand why Nokia doesnt jump at the opportunity to offer high end smartphones with more than 1 SIM capability.....
     
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  13. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    You'd think they'd do it because their share is higher in most multi-sim countries. They seem to be determined to lose their advantages.
     
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  14. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Maybe because there isn't sufficient demand?
     
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  15. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    no way.... that cant be true....
     
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  16. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    maybe its a carrier pressure issue... they dont want to lose roaming fees..????
     
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  17. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    There it is! Several Chinese phones, including HTC have them, but not for smartphones.
     
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  18. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    I guess its a thing where the manufacturers need the carriers to launch their products, so the carriers pressure the manufacturers to not include hardware features that have a potential to eat into their revenue streams..... Im not an industry expert, but this is my laymans analysis....
     
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  19. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Why not? Apple is going down the path of standardizing their hardware so they don't have a ton of slightly different configurations for different carriers (ie, all iPhone 4S have CDMA and GSM radios, as far as I can tell). I don't see them putting multi-sim hardware and software support into every iPhone to target some world travelers (us folks here) and those who today carry multiple phones to save a penny or two on each phone call. What is there for them to gain from this feature?
     
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  20. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    Im no expert... just gut feeling. its not only the international travel folks that want this.... I think that even in the US market there are millions of folks that would love to have 2 SIM cards because coverage for different carriers sucks in different areas...... its a no brainer for me....

    then again, what the heck do I know...........?
     
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  21. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Maybe. That would mean buying a T-Mobile and an AT&T SIM, since those are the two GSM carriers here. Except that they are planning/hoping to merge.

    But the question remains: how many more iPhones would Apple sell if they offered this in the US? I'd bet very few.
     
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  22. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    High margin sales. Multi-sim phones come unblocked and Apple sells unblocked iPhones for as much as twice the price of blocked ones. The difference is not just carrier subsidies. Where ever you go the multi-sim margins are very, very high. Apple could sell it disables, as they do with much else, remembering that the total cost for the difference will be less than five US cants. Don't minimize the volumes eitehr. the sales of dual-sim workarounds are quite large, as are the sales of multi-sim phones. I think Gaucho reads this one well. Carriers pressures, so far, anyway.
     
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  23. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Raise your hand if you have and use a multi-sim phone. <crickets>

    Now raise your hand if you don't.

    I rest my case.

    :D

    As I said in another thread, I believe Apple is more likely to go down the MVNO path than the hardware-enablement of multiple carriers path.

    Jobs probably would have thrown a fit if Ive had shown him an iPhone protoype with two SIM trays :)
     
  24. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    sorry but I dont understand...... if you offer a phone with 2 sim slots, it doesnt mean that a user is obliged to fill them, so... how can this available option hurt sales... sorry but that doesnt make any sense to me
     
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  25. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Agreed, but my point wasn't that. What I asked was: how many more iPhones would they sell in the US that they don't see today? In other words, how many people are there who are NOT buying iPhones today that would run to their nearest Apple store to pick up an unlocked (has to be, right?) multi-SIM phone if they offered one?

    They are already pretty much guaranteed to sell every iPhone they can make. Look at the iPhone 4S -- they didn't even have to put 4G LTE in that device to break all sales records. Multi-SIM is not a competitive advantage that would increase their marketshare noticeably, IMO. Now... if Google/Motorola were to put that in every Android phone next year, things might be different. But I don't think they see the need either.
     
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