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  • Apple to Eliminate the SIM Card?

    There's an unconfirmed report out today claiming that Apple is working with a major SIM card maker to build an integrated chip directly into the device that would eliminate the need for carrier SIMs. This would let Apple do an end-around not only on carriers - enabling customers to buy phones directly from Apple and then activate their phones on the App Store with the carrier of their choice - but also on unlockers as well.

    GigaOM's Stacey Higginbotham quotes sources inside European carriers as saying that Apple is working with the Dutch SIM manufacturer Gemalto on a SIM chip with expandable flash and ROM. The ROM would have "data provided by Gemalto with everything related to IT and network security" while the flash storage would "receive the carrier related data via a local connection which could be the PC or a dedicated device." So the chip would work as a sort of soft-SIM, allowing an iPhone user to activate their phone on any network that supports Gemalto technology. The ease of switching, as Higginbotham notes, may turn out to be a "nightmare" for carriers.

    The strategy seems not only directed at making iPhones more carrier independent - especially valuable in Europe where no carrier has a monopoly in any country - but also as a way to crack down on unlocking. With Gemalto, and Apple, at the heart of the activation process, iPhones would only be able to operate on carriers that are specifically permitted to carry the device.

    Gemalto was also in the news recently after filing a patent infringement lawsuit against Google last week. Gemalto developed Java Card back in the 90s, and patented technology enabling apps to be executed in resource limited devices like smart cards. Gemalto claims that the Dalvik virtual machine used in Android improperly includes Java Card technology, and names mobile-phone makers HTC, Motorola and Samsung as well as Google in its lawsuit.

    Source: GigaOM
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple to Eliminate the SIM Card? started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 65 Comments
    1. Dash-2's Avatar
      Dash-2 -
      How do people on CDMA transfer contacts?
    1. dale2's Avatar
      dale2 -
      as a new unlocker and jailbreaker, having a SIM has been mandatory
      every time I bricked, or broke my iPhone i had to use the cheap flip phone i got for free until i could fix my iPhones or get another
      I've been through a few lol that's what happens when you buy used

      Quote Originally Posted by Dash-2 View Post
      How do people on CDMA transfer contacts?
      how do people on CDMA switch to a different phone at a job that bans camera phones?
    1. zozodouce's Avatar
      zozodouce -
      well if they do that and we have no way to unlock to phone to work on other carriers,well iphone4 would be my last phone from apple.
    1. Cowboy's Avatar
      Cowboy -
      There is a cellbright machine tgat transfer contacts from any carrier or phone to another with cables
    1. Tashawn's Avatar
      Tashawn -
      Guess I'm just going to be stuck with the last sim enabled iPhone, or switch to (gurp) AT&T.
    1. DarkDragonAn's Avatar
      DarkDragonAn -
      I would not care if it happen. I hate the sim card anyway, but if they keep it I don't care either, about having the sim card to transfer contacts info from one of to another is stupic I have everything back up on my computer and on my mobile account plus on my google account just incare everythin else fails.
    1. Raptors's Avatar
      Raptors -
      Lol not ganna happen
    1. mwr_allen's Avatar
      mwr_allen -
      Quote Originally Posted by ruben00 View Post
      Sim cards are still important to me, specially since I travel a lot and need to switch carriers frequently while keeping my iphone

      But I think this is actually a very good thing, even for unlockers, just think about it...

      Disclamer: This is a photoshop job, dont hound the Dev team or GeoHotz asking about goldra1n or goldSn0w, it doesn't exist, as far as I know it will never exist, I am making goldra1n and goldsn0w up, i have no insight into the dev team workings or geohotz, im just a regular schmo
      I was thinking something very similar, The Dev Team has done so much in the last few years and they will no doubt hack their way through obstacles like this and even tougher tasks in the future.

    1. z6joker9's Avatar
      z6joker9 -
      Has very little to do with contacts alone. I like being able to switch to an android phone quickly to test something, or throw my sim into a gophone while on vacation. I would not own a simless iPhone, and I will not switch to a carrier that doesn't use sims.
    1. delusion950's Avatar
      delusion950 -
      IT sucks,i hope they don't. you're telling me no more unlocking and waiting forver for the unlock. not fun what are we going to look forward to besides jailbreak =( and guess that the new iphone will look like.
    1. bdizzle's Avatar
      bdizzle -
      Quote Originally Posted by milkycloud View Post
      If this happens... the iPhone is dead
      Might be dead to you, but for the millions of people who have an iPhone that's not unlocked or jail-broken, it's not gonna matter to them at all. Not only that, it'll be touted as a feature and ground breaking technology.

      Quote Originally Posted by joliano24 View Post
      I don't think that will happen, Apple will loss them world controller position. and with them antena problem all the time the other will be more stroger in the market. I hope they will be smart not to do it this way.
      You guys need to really stop with the hyperbole. It's not going to make apple lose any of it's market share, and even with the antenna problem, the iPhone 4 sold out quicker than the 3gs, 3g, and original iPhone.

      I'd hate to be able to lose my unlock, but realistically, the only people who this would seriously effect are people who travel out of the country a lot who don't want to keep multiple phones.
    1. bootleg's Avatar
      bootleg -
      well i guess we'll just have to buy full priced iphones from friends and relatives in canada (or other unlocked countries)
    1. derekthered's Avatar
      derekthered -
      Maybe I'm missing something but it doesn't seem like this would be an issue for people who travel a lot, just update your carrier settings when you're in another country and use the same phone.

      But even if that's not the way it'd work, like others have said I'm sure the jailbreak community will come up with a solution.
    1. ABXantos's Avatar
      ABXantos -
      This look more like a method to stop unlockers rather than help cell phone providers.
    1. Rokesomesmeefer's Avatar
      Rokesomesmeefer -
      Quote Originally Posted by westerman View Post
      Because apple as a company is doing it right there not having to out source so much and making products ppl want. We buy them it seems no matter what they come out with because it's top of the line and good quality
      Apple barely makes anything in-house anymore. Just about everything is outsourced these days.

      Quote Originally Posted by bdizzle View Post
      ...I'd hate to be able to lose my unlock, but realistically, the only people who this would seriously effect are people who travel out of the country a lot who don't want to keep multiple phones.
      Really. And if this were to happen, how many carriers do you expect you would see in iTunes when activating your new iPhone? Last I checked, AT&T was the only authorized carrier in the U.S. I would bet that the number of out-of-U.S.-traveling iPhones is not significantly more than unlocked iPhones on other U.S. carriers, if not fewer.
    1. piston597's Avatar
      piston597 -
      Unlockers will just switch to another phone and looking at how there are at least one million unlockers, most likely more (I might be wrong). And many of these unlockers bought their iPhones for non contract price, or from someone who bought it just to sell. So Apple makes alot of money from these guys already. And then you have apps, with over 1million unlockers, they probably make a lot of money from that too (not a majority but a good chunk). So by limiting it this will just cause them to lose a lot more money.
    1. norfskate's Avatar
      norfskate -
      Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't China (or somewhere in Asia) been doing this for years?

      I remember years and years ago I found a really cool phone in china that I wanted to import, but I couldn't, because it didn't use a sim card. :-(

      And anyway, **** em! I really hope they do this, all the unlocking shops around where I live are run by total skumbags!

      I'm not against unlocking, it's just my local unlockers are a pack of gimps :-/
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      I don't like that idea at all. ******* apple is making everything harder for everybody
    1. BennyPR's Avatar
      BennyPR -
      Quote Originally Posted by umkthxbye View Post
      Yeah I will be switching to droid phones too if this ever happens. The Sim card is a life saver for saving contacts onto, makes the whole contact transferring process so easy. This is just Jobs trying to be Hitler with his dictatorship.
      Yo not need save your contacts in the Sim Card, you can save in iTunes in your PC or Mac
    1. Hyperextension's Avatar
      Hyperextension -
      Stupid idea. What happens if you are travelling and want to use a local carrier SIM?