Future iPhones To Come With Embedded SIM Card?
Apple is reportedly working with SIM card manufacturer Gemalto to come up with a “special” SIM that would give options to customers to select the carrier of their choice at the time of purchase of the phone.
Using this method, users would buy a phone first, select the carrier of their choice and then activate the phone using the Apple App Store. Gemalto has reportedly designed a SIM card that will be embedded inside the iPhone.
Each SIM will have a flash memory of sorts that can “receive” operator specific data, which would be flashed on to it once you connect it to the Apple App Store.
This method ensures that the consumers would no longer be required to call up the carrier or visit their stores for activation. While this certainly does restrict the role of the carrier, what is not known now is as to how most carriers would be responding to this idea. If Apple decides to implement this, it would be the second time a company would trying to sell its phone exlusively via the web and its stores. Google had in the past tried to sell the Nexus One via the web and was fairly successful at it. That phone however did not have a SIM card solution anywhere close to this.
Coming back to the SIM, the embedded SIM will incorporate all technologies related to network, data and security – the only thing required would be the operator data, which would be flashed on to it later.
Gemalto will provide the back-end infrastructure to ensure that the carrier activation happens flawlessly. While we are unsure how parctical this would be on a global scale, this should work in Europe where according to GigaOM, carriers tend to use the same networking technology and are far more competitive. Those of you who are not accustomed to a locked phone, this might just be another restrictive method Apple has come up with so that you may not unlock and migrate to a carrier of your choice.
What do you think about the embedded SIM cards? Tell us in the comments.