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Apple and Samsung working on new e-sim standard

HARRY TUCKER

IN THE not too distant future changing phone providers will become a lot easier thanks to a new standard for embeddable SIM cards.

The GSMA, the mobile phone industry association that represents manufacturers is finally working on a standard for embedded SIM cards in phones which would let you jump between carriers with ease.

According to the Financial Times, the world’s two biggest phone makers, Samsung and Apple are both in talks with the GSMA about launching devices with these embeddable SIM cards.

Currently SIM cards, the tiny bits of plastic you get from your carrier are needed to store your phone number, information about your phone plan and identifies you to your mobile carrier.

These SIM cards are programmed to work only with specific carriers which is what can make it difficult when changing carriers or travelling overseas.

The new electronic sim proposed by GSMA would be built into the device and allow you to switch between carriers you have an account with at will.

The technical details aren’t quite known yet, but it sounds like it will work in a similar way to the Apple Sim. The electronic SIM card made by Apple isn’t available in Australia yet, but in the US and UK the sim lives in your iPad and lets you swap between carriers whenever you want.

These new types of Sims make buying phones outright, rather than on a 24-month plan all the more appealing. The ease of transferring between carriers will mean that consumers can change each month to make sure they’re always getting the best deal.

As a result of this, it could also mean that carriers lower their prices to compete for customer loyalty.