SIM cards have been in need of a replacement for quite some time, and it looks like the combined efforts of Apple and Samsung may finally bring us that replacement. According to the Financial Times, the two mobile giants are working with GSMA, the organization that represents the mobile telecom industry, to kill off the traditional SIM card and replace it with a completely electronic e-SIM.
According to a new report from The Financial Times, both Apple and Samsung are working with the GSMA – the association that represents the mobile telecom industry and supports the GSM standard – to bring an end to traditional SIM cards. The replacement for SIM cards will be the e-SIM, an electronic version of a SIM that allows a user to quickly and easily change between mobile networks. Depending on how the specification is finalized, carriers might still be able place restrictions on the e-SIM, although the concept is designed to be more flexible than traditional SIMs. The technology will be similar to the Apple SIM that was introduced with the iPad Air 2, allowing users to easily switch between data networks on the tablet. While the Apple SIM could be replaced by users, the e-SIM will be non-removable, allowing the SIM card slot to be removed from smartphones. The GSMA is confident that a “common architecture” for the e-SIM will be eventually adopted by the telecom industry. The current proposed e-SIM standard has the backing of major carriers including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile), Vodafone, Orange, and Telefónica, though it won’t be supported by everyone at launch.