Samsung, Apple Team Up With GSMA On Innovative E-SIM Technology

By Staff Writer

Jul 27, 2015 11:10 AM EDT

Samsung and Apple are currently working hand in hand with the industry's GSMA to upgrade traditional SIM card to embedded SIM or e-SIM.

And reportedly, Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA), the industry association which represents mobile operators worldwide, is actively backing this Samsung-Apple initiative.

The rival tech giants have been out on their way to work out this SIM resolution and to get these e-SIMs rolling by next year. According to the The Verge, the new SIM standard will be named embedded-SIM or simply, e-SIM. This SIM, as the name implies, will be embedded inside the phone and will have a separate app (and a few options) on the phone's user interface where users can easily switch networks easily. Mobile phone users will soon no longer have to bother themselves swapping SIM cards when they change their carrier.

Business Insider says it is unclear yet how these e-SIMs will work. However, they stated that the concept is somehow identical to the Apple SIM created for the cellular version of the iPad Air 2 that was released earlier this year. This Apple SIM has an embedded software or say, program that allows users to choose their carrier during iPad's initial set-up and then switch whenever they want. Thus, avoiding the usual lock-in-period contracts from carriers.

However, consumers will have to wait for these e-SIMs by 2016, according to The Financial Times. Smartphones that support the technology are expected to surface next year as well. Also, GSMA is yet to announce an agreement for implementing the new SIM standard, but it is very close. Surprisingly, however disadvantageous e-SIMs are for carriers, telecom giants like AT & T together with other international carriers including Deutsche Telecom, Etisalat, Hutchison Whampoa, Orange, Telefónica, and Vodafone, are reportedly open for support on this new SIM platform, according to The Financial Times.

Moreover, Samsung and Apple are yet to announce officially the product specifications of the agreed e-SIM.

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