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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. NumbaOneI's Avatar
      NumbaOneI -
      Werd. I wonder if it'll be the same concept for CDMA? That's if it ever comes..
    1. ratbrain's Avatar
      ratbrain -
      thats bad news. being a tmo subscriber, i guess im going to an android phone....
    1. corkey20000's Avatar
      corkey20000 -
    1. umkthxbye's Avatar
      umkthxbye -
      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.
    1. joliano24's Avatar
      joliano24 -
      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.
    1. zoso10's Avatar
      zoso10 -
      They just want to do this to save space. I guarantee their chip is smaller than a SIM so they'll have more room for activities (pun intended).

      Besides SIMs aren't as important as they used to. Yeah some people still save contacts on it but not much anymore.
    1. madczech's Avatar
      madczech -
      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.
      In my opinion those days are over where you need a sim to copy your contacts... You can pretty much synch every phone with your computer...

      btw, kind of a stupid comparison!
    1. mikerlx's Avatar
      mikerlx -
      Rumor rumors and if it ever does happen we talking at least 5 years as they prolly figuring a new iPhone 5 design or go back to the less problematic 3G/3GS design lol
    1. ThinkTank's Avatar
      ThinkTank -
      that is the dumbest idea I ever heard. The some post do agree. Let me guess you guys have never traveled out this country. Have a Sim give you the ability to move between phones. It is not a carrier things. No phone or phone company in Europe will fall for that crap.

      Apple can not redefine GSM without a SIM. Even if you are with ATT you have the option to switch phones.
    1. milkycloud's Avatar
      milkycloud -
      If this happens... the iPhone is dead
    1. cookbenj's Avatar
      cookbenj -
      bad times..
    1. Simon's Avatar
      Simon -
      Ya, not too keen on this idea, it will leave a lot of people without an option of having a new iphone. I hope this rumor stays a rumor.
    1. Rob2G's Avatar
      Rob2G -
      This is never going to happen. Apple will loose too much money from unlockers.
    1. trigun989's Avatar
      trigun989 -
      sooo fcking stupid if apple does this
    1. ruben00's Avatar
      ruben00 -
      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...

      Geohotz releases Goldra1n...
      With this release, you can Jailbreak your iOS6 device, and if you download Goldsn0w from cydia, it will replace the data provided by Gemalto with carrier data from any carrier in the world

      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
    1. Cowboy's Avatar
      Cowboy -
      If this happens it will be bad for people that rely on a unlock but as for it being a step ahead of the technology market this is a great idea
    1. h4ng0ver's Avatar
      h4ng0ver -
      Hahah
      Apple wants more control, why am I not one bit surprised about this!!!
    1. Cowboy's Avatar
      Cowboy -
      Quote Originally Posted by h4ng0ver View Post
      Hahah
      Apple wants more control, why am I not one bit surprised about this!!!
      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
    1. iYeow's Avatar
      iYeow -
      If this happens, I am definitely not going to buy anymore future iphones
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      I thought the entire point behind sim card technology twas to make it easily removable?

      Quote Originally Posted by madczech View Post
      In my opinion those days are over where you need a sim to copy your contacts... You can pretty much synch every phone with your computer...

      btw, kind of a stupid comparison!
      Yes and no. If I was on vacation, had my iPhone screen crack, and wanted to grab a pay as you go phone to swap my sim out and use my contacts, I wouldn't be able to with a change like this. You probably aren't going to sync a crappy flip phone to your computer, assuming you even have it with you. I assume the original poster wasn't worried about tranfering his contacts from iphone to iphone using his sim card... I have never had to do anything like this, but that doesn't mean I can;t see the value in having the ability to.