Sanford Bernstein’s European telecoms analyst Robin Bienenstock told clients in a note — as reported by “Barron’s ( — that although the fear of Apple creating an easily unlocked SIM card has faded Europe’s wireless operators have moved ahead with reductions in the subsidy they provide to the iPhone.

Bienenstock has observed a €40 to €150 reduction in iPhone subsidies “in the largest iPhone markets.” In essence, the carriers sensed Apple was seeking to play them against one another even more, in a “prisoner’s dilemma,” and they have been spooked, says Bienenstock. She also notes promotions for the iPhone have disappeared from the carriers’ home pages, and that “ceilings have fallen on tariffs across Europe.”