SIM cards are annoying, and I think that’s something we all can agree on. But it looks like two of the biggest mobile companies in the game could be looking to help rid us of a future where these archaic slivers of plastic are still needed to provision cellular service.
Financial Times reports both Samsung and Apple are in talks with the GSMA — a company who governs many wireless standards — to work on an “e-SIM” technology. Such a technology would allow your phone to have a permanent “electronic” SIM card that can be instantly and effortlessly “changed” at the press of a button.
Currently, folks wanting to use different service in the same smartphone or the same service in different smartphones have to swap SIM cards in and out, or be lucky enough to own a phone that has dual-SIM capabilities. The idea here is that the swap never has to happen.
But contrary to how others might be seeing this development, the lack of a physical SIM card for service won’t necessarily spell the end of carrier lockdown. Phones still have to not only be compatible with a network, but also be approved by certain carriers (namely CDMA users Sprint and Verizon, among others).
Even GSM carriers like AT&T would likely still employ SIM-locking practices with this technology in their phones. It should be a great benefit for those in Europe, though, where you’re quite free to jump from carrier to carrier without having to get a note from mommy.
Regardless, it’s exciting to imagine a future where we no longer have to keep up with tiny electronic cards that are no bigger than our thumb, and we hope Apple and Samsung can come up with a solution that benefits everyone the world over.