Apple is taking a different approach with the new iPhone SE
Apple is taking a different approach with the new iPhone SE

The arrival of Apple's latest iPhone has changed the way its US customers buy the device, in a move to weed carriers out of the process and give the tech giant more control.

Typically, when users buy an iPhone from a retail store or online for a company, they provide their phone number and the last four digits of their Social Security number.

This allows the carrier to perform a credit check and approve the transaction. But it lengthens the process and can be a hindrance to closing the sale.

The company told retail employees that this process has changed starting with the iPhone SE. New iPhone SE buyers who choose AT&T or T-Mobile as their wireless carrier do not need to provide any information at the time of purchase.

Alternatively, buyers can enter this information and contact their carrier when they first turn on the device.

Apple has informed employees that the new feature will be called Cross-Device Authentication. If users have already ordered an iPhone SE from the company's website, they won't be prompted for carrier information if they're with AT&T or T-Mobile.

The change also means that users do not have to choose a network plan when purchasing. The new deal starts in stores March 29th.

Retail workers said the change could also benefit customer service. Activation servers can sometimes be overloaded, preventing business store customers from activating their phones, and this new approach can mitigate that bad experience.

According to AT&T, the new process applies to existing customers and the goal of the program is to speed up the buying process.

Apple prevents telecom operators from buying

The company has always offered what it calls an unlocked version of the iPhone, which can be played through any carrier after purchase. But it's Apple's latest move to assert stronger control over customer experience.

The change later affected Verizon customers as well. Apple also allows users to purchase iPhone SE in stores via an Apple Card monthly installment plan without being tied up with a carrier.

The new shopping experience is available to anyone who buys an iPhone through Apple in installments or at full price.

Customers wishing to use carrier agreements have to use a more complex process. This may help Apple lure users towards its financing plans.

The new acquisitions only apply to iPhone SE. However, some Apple employees believe he is using the method as a test.

The company will likely use the same strategy when it launches the iPhone 14 series later this year. However, it is unclear if the change may include other recent iPhones.

The change is part of phone manufacturers' efforts to reduce carriers' influence on the purchasing process.

Phone makers are increasingly pushing towards eSIM technology, which allows customers to activate cellular plans from their devices without using a physical SIM card.

While the iPhone 13 has a SIM card slot, models purchased from Apple in the US do not, and instead rely on an eSIM.

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