Samsung is also reported to be part of the talks, meaning this tech could become a real standard across iPhone and Android devices, unlike Apple’s current SIM which is locked specifically to the company’s hardware.
E-SIMs don’t lock users into a specific carrier network and would allow them to switch any device between a network instantly. If more carriers and manufacturers sign up, it’s likely the traditional SIM will go the way of the dodo on consumer devices.
And this could happen as soon as this fall, when the new iPhones are expected to be unveiled, as FT reports that GSMA (the industry association which represents mobile operators worldwide) could soon announce an agreement to produce a standardized embedded SIM. Networks expected to support the plans include AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchison Whampoa, Orange, Telefónica and Vodafone.
An embedded SIM that will support multiple operators is a goal of the Groupe Speciale Mobile Assocation (GSMA). “We have been working with them and others to create an industry solution for machines and will agree a solution for consumer electronics.” The deal with Apple is yet to be finalized, however, with the GSMA noting it is “continuing to work with Apple to secure their support for the initiative” and an actual agreement with Apple “is still in progress”. “Those familiar with its United Kingdom rollout said that it had not been widely adopted”. “With the majority of operators on board”, Anne Bouverot, chief executive of the GSMA, said.
Apple is no stranger to this concept, as it has introduced its own Apple SIM inside the iPad Air (which, by the way, has recently expanded to over 90 countries).
Apple and Samsung decide to utilize established Sim card badges in their own impending cell phones, the GSMA assertions, essentially letting builders to turn between distributors more conveniently.