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 the use of traditional SIM cards, a Finanacial Times report says.
The proposal is to replace SIM cards with e-SIM, an electronic version of a SIM that allows a user to quickly and easily change between mobile networks.
The technology is designed such that the 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 and the proposal has the backing of major carriers including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile), Vodafone, Orange, and Telefónica.
There is still work to be done to get the e-SIM standard ready for the market, although the GSMA is hoping to finalize the specification for launch sometime in 2016. This could mean we’ll see e-SIMs supported alongside traditional SIM cards in the next generation of smartphones.