Physical SIM Cards About to Die?
It seems that the days of physical SIM cards are numbered as two of the biggest tech giants are readying to implement a new SIM standard within the mobile devices.
According to the Financial Times, Apple and Samsung are currently in talks with Telcos to create an open SIM standard that would enable an electronic SIM card to be embedded directly within the GSM-based smartphones. The e-SIM can then be reprogrammed immediately to work with mobile operators around the world that support the standard.
The new e-SIM tech would essentially eliminate the need of physically swapping SIM cards when you switch from one mobile operator to another, especially if you fly to another country and don’t want to use roaming.
The novel tech functions somewhat similar to Apple SIM being used by the Cupertino in the iPad Air 2 since October 2014. The Apple SIM enables users of the latest iPad Air automatically switch between networks while keeping their current device.
In addition to the aforesaid benefit, e-SIM will mark the end of the SIM card slots in phones, thus allowing the phone makers to design slimmer devices, or rather use that little extra space for other components.
Apple and Samsung are unlikely to introduce the e-SIM in their future products for another year, so don’t expect to see the next-gen iPhones or Galaxy Note 5 coming with this new SIM standard. But whenever the tech is implemented in any of the upcoming handsets, the GSM Association (GSMA) believes it will catch on with the industry as a whole.
We have got everyone back on one point, with Apple and Samsung agreeing to be part of that specification. We have been working with them and others to create an industry solution for machines and will agree a solution for consumer electronics.
The GSMA told the FT that “the majority of operators” have been keen to transit to e-SIM, as it will mean a much simpler user experience for customers.
Gohar is the lead editor at TechFrag. He has a wide range of interests when it comes to tech but he's currently spending a big chunk of his time writing about privacy, cyber security, and anything policy related.