According to a recent GigaOm report, Apple is apparently working with chipmaker Gemalto to develop an iPhone-specific SIM card that will be compatible with different carriers, and will thus facilitate shopping for mobile service directly from the Apple Store.
Technically speaking, the open SIM will allow iPhone software to switch the carrier that each phone is associated with, instead of depending on different SIM cards for different carriers.
The Gemalto SIM will enable the iPhone software - the iOS, the App Store, and the iTunes –to allow customers to select service from multiple wireless carriers; with the underlying potential to even force carriers to come up with special deals or service options to entice users.
In addition, along with potentially providing better deals for consumers, the Gemalto SIM will also give Apple greater control over mobile phone sales and distribution, vis-à-vis the carriers or resellers.
Elaborating further, the GigaOm report noted that the SIM “is embedded in a chip that has an upgradeable flash component and a ROM area. The ROM area contains data provided by Gemalto with everything related to IT and network security, except for the carrier-related information.”
The report added said that the SIM’s flash component “will receive the carrier-related data via a local connection which could be the PC or a dedicated device, so it can be activated on the network. Gemalto will provide the back-end infrastructure that allows service and number provisioning on the carrier network.”