More reports on: Apple, Samsung

Apple, Samsung dveloping e-SIM standard

17 July 2015

The ubiquitous SIM card is set to take on bigger roles in addition to facilitating voice and text communication.

If Samsung, Apple and ChatSim succeed in pushing their ideas for smartphones, the devices would become easier and cost effective.

Apple and Samsung are in the process of putting together a new SIM standard that would make it easier for consumers to switch between mobile carriers.

The Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA) would make the official announcement soon, and the new SIM standard will be known as the embedded SIM (e-SIM).

Initially, the e-SIM would be used with Apple and Samsung smartphones, and would allow consumers to switch mobile carriers without going through the hassle of buying and activating a new SIM card.

If it goes as planned, the launch of the first eSIM-capable smartphones by the two companies could take place in the summer of 2016.

This is, however, not the first time Apple had tried something like this and in October 2014, Apple had launched what was the current generation of the iPad tablets - the Apple iPad Air 2 and Apple iPad Mini 3.

Currently SIM cards, the tiny bits of plastic mobile users got from their carrier, were needed to store users' phone number, information about their phone plan and identified users to their mobile carrier.

Since the SIM cards are programmed to work only with specific carriers it makes switching carriers difficult or travelling overseas.

The electronic SIM card made by Apple is used in the UK and UK in iPads and allows swapping between carriers whenever users wanted.

The new types of SIM would not lock in users to telecom service provider plans and make it simple to change service providers.

Commentators say it could also mean that carriers lowered their prices to compete for customer loyalty.

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