That plastic card that you insert in your phone in order to access a mobile voice or data network is soon disappearing. The SIM card comes in several shapes and sizes, but imagine a world where we no longer need it, where you can change your carrier without need to swap your SIM card, Samsung and Apple are in talks to make this a reality in a bid to improve smartphone design.
Reports from the Financial Times, claim that Apple and Samsung are in discussions with mobile carriers to help develop and implement a new SIM card standard called the e-SIM that stands for embedded SIM. This new SIM standard could make it easier to switch between mobile service providers, which means the new SIM would stay inside the phone and give consumers the ability to switch carriers without getting a new card and all changes can be done through an interface on the device. And all this is reportedly expected to be ready by 2016.
We have predicted the death of the SIM card for sometime now, at least ever since Apple introduced the AppleSIM on the last years’ LTE iPads. AppleSIM offered people a choice between multiple carriers and in some cases the ability to switch carriers when they liked. Truth be told, the only reason why phone makers like Apple like to get rid of the SIM card tray, is the hidden battle to see who will make the thinnest phone. And, now with the SIM card tray out-of-the-way, we shall see better designed phones in the near future.
The Financial Times report goes on to say that the GSM Association, an industry group that represents mobile operators, says that “the majority of operators” are on board with the shift over to e-SIM. That reportedly includes Vodafone, Telefonica, and Orange, as well as other international carriers. The association confirmed Apple and Samsung’s participation in developing the new standard, but the companies’ involvement may not yet be final. The association says that, “While we are optimistic, a formal agreement with them is still in progress.”