In a cunning plan to kill two birds with one stone, the Fruity peddler of broken iPhones, Apple is planning to embed a custom, writeable SIM chip in future iPhones.
According to GigaOm , Apple will build a custom SIM module which means that Apple could flog iPhones directly to users with little or no direct carrier involvement.
The SIM can be reconfigured to work on a different carrier by uploading a small file with carrier-specific data to the module’s flash memory.
Apparently Jobs’ Mob is working with SIM card manufacturer Gemalto to create the custom SIM chip that would be embedded in the iPhone itself. Instead of popping physical SIM cards in and out of an iPhone.
As far as the user is concerned it would be handy in the European market, where many carriers compete for customers and users frequently roam outside of their local coverage area.
All the user would need to do is phone Apple and update the internal SIM to work on a different carrier’s network.
The files could be uploaded via a Dock connector or over the air via the App Store or directly from a carrier.
Apple could more easily offer iPhones directly to consumers via retail or online, allowing them to choose any available carrier at the time of purchase—which could then be easily encoded into the SIM by Apple or the customer when connecting to iTunes.
Buyers could take the devices to a carrier of choice for activation.
But the downside of this is that it would mean that the Apple blessed SIM would be hardwired into the phone. It would make it much harder to jailbreak and mean that you could only run the phone on Apple blessed telcos.