TIME Apple

Apple, Samsung Are in Talks to Kill the SIM Card

Patentstreit zwischen Apple und Samsung
Marcus Brandt—Marcus Brandt/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

But don't expect a change until at least 2016, a report says

To use our smart phones, most of us are still beholden to pieces of plastic known as SIM cards. But if Apple [fortune-stock symbol=”AAPL”] and Samsung have anything to do with it, those cards won’t be around for much longer.

The Financial Times reports that the tech giants are in “advanced talks” to start using electronic SIM cards in their smartphones, allowing users more mobility in switching between carriers.

The GSMA, an industry association that represents mobile operators, said that there’s an agreement soon to be announced detailing standards for the new SIMs. However, the new cards aren’t likely to become available for at least a year, according to the report.

“With the majority of operators on board, the plan is to finalise the technical architecture that will be used in the development of an end-to-end remote SIM solution for consumer devices, with delivery anticipated by 2016,” the organization said in a statement.

Anne Bouverot, the CEO of the GSMA, said the organization is continuing to speak with Apple to “secure their support for the initiative.”

“We have got everyone back on one point, with Apple and Samsung agreeing to be part of that specification,” she said. “We have been working with them and others to create an industry solution for machines and will agree a solution for consumer electronics.”

TIME SIM cards

The Netherlands Becomes the First Country to Legalize Carrier-Free SIM Cards

Brent Lewin—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Could herald more user freedom (and more manufacturer influence)

In great news for those sick of fiddling with their cellphone handsets on every trip abroad, the Netherlands has become the first country to legalize carrier-free SIM cards.

Instead of adding to your pile of miniscule circuit cards, or locking your device to one network, this could herald the true freedom for users to switch between operators at will.

Manufacturers are already vying for it, since it would mean customers wouldn’t have to enter agreements with specific providers to connect their devices, and in the long-run could cut out the middle man for voice and data services. It may still be a while until we get there, though. Legal restrictions already quashed an initiative by Apple to create its own carrier-free SIM card in 2010.


Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com