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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. BenderRodriguez's Avatar
      BenderRodriguez -
      Quote Originally Posted by Effenpig! View Post
      My area has no AT&T 3G, no sprint 4g, verizon has coverage but the speed is just sad. My local carrier just got a 35 million dollar grant to provide high speed coverage in the area. They just got the samsung galaxy s and I was checking it out. It will probably be about a year until they get their system upgraded, and then it only makes sense for me to switch to an android device to take advantage. I love my iPhone but, cmon, I don't think anybody can blame me!!!
      Or you could move to a larger city
    1. imanono's Avatar
      imanono -
      Quote Originally Posted by ratbrain View Post
      thats bad news. being a tmo subscriber, i guess im going to an android phone....
      YAY! One less noob in the iPhone community
    1. mortopher's Avatar
      mortopher -
      Quote Originally Posted by ifonemaniac View Post
      This is why I switched from the iPhone to the EVO. This phone is so much better and its on a 4G network. Yeah you pay that additional 10$ but its unlimited. Unlike ATT and T-Mobiles new 5gb cap. Not trying to troll around but I want more idevice users to see the beauty of android.

      (Sent on my rooted EVO 4G)
      How would this have anything to do with why you switched from the iPhone to the Evo? Your phone is stuck on Sprint. What's your point?
    1. Effenpig!'s Avatar
      Effenpig! -
      Quote Originally Posted by shanejoe View Post
      Or you could move to a larger city
      Yeah, that's alot easier than Waiting a few months for 3g and switching phones?

      You sir, are some kind of genius and quite certainly a brilliant tactician!!
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      At the rate Apple is signing up Carriers, no one will need an unlock so sims will be irrelevant.