The Financial Times reports Apple and Samsung are in "advanced talks" to join the launch of electronic SIM (e-SIM) cards, an evolution on regular SIM cards that does not lock device users to specific carrier networks.
Reportedly the GSMA is close to an agreement on a common architecture for a standard embedded SIM for consumer devices. Networks supporting the plan including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchison Whampoa, Orange, Telefónica and Vodafone.
“With the majority of operators on board, the plan is to finalise the technical architecture that will be used in the development of an end-to-end remote SIM solution for consumer devices, with delivery anticipated by 2016,” the industry association says. “We have got everyone back on one point, with Apple and Samsung agreeing to be part of that specification.”
The GSMA offers an embedded SIM standard for use in enterprise machine to machine (M2M) applications such as utility meters, traffic lights and assisted living systems.
Mind, Apple already has an e-SIM card-- the Apple SIM, a means for adding a data connection to either the iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 3. However it was not widely adopted due to support by few operators, such as EE in the UK and T-Mobile and AT&T in the US.