APPLE AND SAMSUNG have uncharacteristically joined forces in a bid to kill the traditional SIM card, according to reports.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and SAMSUNG ELECT LTD (F) (OTCMKTS:SSNLF)’s fresh move will eliminate the need for activating the new SIM card when the consumers change their mobile carriers. Apple itself actually tried its own take on e-SIMS with the last generation of iPads, though only T-Mobile and AT&T supported that feature.
The GSM Association, the industry group, who represents mobile operator, tells Financial Times that some major operators are on the board to shift over to e-SIM. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) are in talks with GSMA to implement E-SIM card instead.
The GSMA has confirmed it is planning this but said the new SIM will not arrive likely in new devices until sometime in 2016.
But what exactly is an e-Sim?
If this sounds familiar, that’s because Apple pushed forward with something similar in Apple SIM with the LTE version of the iPad Air 2.
“The industry-wide initiative will allow consumers to activate the SIM embedded in a device, such as a tablet or wearable, with the mobile network operator of their choice”. Meanwhile, carriers would be able to quickly transfer customers to their networks, and hardware makers would no longer be required to make the SIM cards removable, freeing up valuable real estate on the phone’s motherboard that could be used for other purposes. This embeddable SIM card will apparently be supported by AT&T also the worldwide carriers, counting Deutsche Telecom, Hutchison Whampoa, Orange, Etisalat, Telefónica, and Vodafone, according to the report.
Gemalto shares fell sharply on Thursday on the news, with traders citing concerns that its SIM card manufacturing business might be impacted if USA tech company Apple launched a rival e-Sim card. Since they would be embedded into the device and wouldn’t require swapping in order to change carriers, it’d be far easier to change from one network to another with an electronic SIM than it would be with a plastic SIM.