When Apple launched their latest version of the iPad, one of the features which gained a significant amount of attention was the use of their Apple SIM. This was a sort of electronic SIM card which allowed the user to choose between carriers and swap between them whenever wanted. That said, the problem with the Apple SIM was the compatibility with the carriers was quite minimal, with only a small number of carriers signed up to the program. Well, a new report emerging from the Financial Times today details that Apple and Samsung are both in advanced talks to produce a more universally usable electronic SIM (e-SIM).
As one would expect, this next-generation e-SIM would allow users the option to forgo using physical SIM cards altogether and instead, offer the user the ability to effectively swap digitally between the carriers whenever they wanted. This would all be achieved by the tech utilizing an embedded plastic universal SIM. According to the details, the talks which are currently ongoing, are with a number of carriers. The idea being, with a much greater number of carriers onboard, this would make the use of the e-SIM much more industry standard in the future. The carriers being specifically namedropped as included in the talks and supporting the new format include AT&T, Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile's parent company), Orange, Vodafone, Hutchison Whampoa, Etisalat and Telef³nica.
Of course, in terms of the end user, this is still some way off reaching a device. The talks are still very much ongoing with the carriers and manufacturers still working towards an agreement on the "common architecture" of the e-SIM, with technical specifications still needing to be thought out and developed further. As such, there is no specific timeframe in mind for the implementation, although the reports detail that the tech is still a year away from being realized suggesting it is unlikely to be available before deep into 2016 at the earliest. That said, the intention of so many carriers and both Samsung and Apple looking to push forward with the concept does at least suggest that the concept of the e-SIM is one which will gain further traction.