APPLE AND SAMSUNG have uncharacteristically joined forces in a bid to kill the traditional SIM card, according to reports.
The Financial Times has the scoop, and reports that frenemies Apple and Samsung are close to reaching an agreement with the GSMA to produce standardised embedded SIMs, or e-SIMs, for mobile devices.
This e-SIM, unlike traditional SIM cards, will allow smartphone, tablet or smartwatch users to avoid locking themselves into a plan with a single operator, instead allowing them to switch freely between networks.
This is similar to the SIM that Apple launched last year. Available now in the UK, US and Australia, Apple SIM gives iPad users the ability to switch networks without having to go through the hassle of changing SIMs.
The GSMA confirmed its plans to the newspaper, but said that the new SIM solution is unlikely to arrive in devices until 2016.
"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 organisation said.
Once it does make it to market, the standardised SIM could change the way we buy mobile phones. For example, you wouldn't be locked into a two-year contract, because you'd be able to switch networks at any time, meaning you could switch straight away if you were dissatisfied with the service.
Operators expected to give their backing to the initiative include AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchison Whampoa, Orange, Telefónica and Vodafone.
The GSMA also confirmed that Apple was involved in the plans, saying it is "continuing to work with Apple to secure their support for the initiative. While we are optimistic, a formal agreement with them is still in progress."
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