According to GigaOm, Apple may be working on a special SIM card to cut iPhone carriers out of the retail process. GigaOm’s sources inside European carriers claims that Apple is working with Gemalto, a SIM card manufacturer, to bring a custom SIM card integrated into the iPhone itself.
This Special SIM Card will allow customers in Europe to buy iPhone from Apple’s online or retail stores, select their desired carrier and then activate the device using Apple’s App Store. So, their won’t be any need to call or work with carriers to purchase or setup the device.
It is rumored that Apple and Gemalto have created a SIM card, which is typically a chip that carries subscriber identification information for the carriers, that will be integrated into the iPhone itself. Then customers will then be able to choose their carrier at purchase at the Apple web site or retail store, or buy the phone and get their handset up and running through a download at the App Store as opposed to visiting a carrier store or calling the carrier. Either way it reduces the role of the carrier in the iPhone purchase. Gemalto and Apple have not responded to requests for comment. I am also waiting to hear back from other sources to get more details.
The model should work well in Europe where the carriers tend to use the same networking technology and are far more competitive. iPhone’s non-exlusivity in most of the Europe makes this model a compelling one for consumers, but a nightmare for carriers. via [9to5mac] [GigaOm]