Apple and Samsung are reportedly in advanced talks with global GSM providers to introduce a new electronic SIM standard; one that would remove the need for physical SIM cards. The technology itself is not new, and there have been rumours floating around for years; although this latest report seems to indicate that the cardless SIM is drawing nearer.
The report from the Financial Times indicates that the GSMA is close to announcing an agreement with major telcos, along with Apple and Samsung to introduce a standardised embedded SIM for smartphones. This would fundamentally change how consumer interact with their providers, allowing them to switch telco providers without having to switch SIM cards.
However, the GSMA has said that there are still technical specifications to be worked out before the new embedded SIM can be rolled out to new devices. It expects to be able to deliver the technology in 2016, but it could still be a while longer before manufacturers are able to deploy it in their own devices; not to mention the amount of time it will take for telcos to switch over to the new system.
With Samsung and Apple both mentioned in the original report, it is likely that these two manufacturers will be the ones leading the charge for the the SIM standard. Apple has already experimented with its own SIM for the iPad 2, although consumer reception to that feature was rather lacklustre.
[Source: Financial Times]