​Apple, Samsung in talks with GSMA to launch electronic SIM: Report

The concept of a SIM card being locked to a single telco could be a thing of the past, when GSMA, together with Apple and Samsung, launches electronic SIM cards.

The GSMA, the global industry body that represents mobile operators, is close to announcing an agreement where it will soon be able to produce standardised embedded SIMs for mobile devices.

Two of the world's largest smartphone makers, Apple and Samsung, are said to be in "advanced talks" with the GSMA to launch these electronic SIMs, according to reports by the Financial Times.

The telcos expected to support the plans include AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchison Whampoa, Orange, Telefónica, and Vodafone.

The GSMA told the Financial Times that it is finalising plans, and anticipates delivering its SIM solution for consumer devices by 2016.

Last year, Apple launched Apple SIM to give customers the ability to switch telcos without having to go through the hassle of changing SIMs. While it was initially only available to users in the US and UK, Apple announced the availability of Apple SIM in Australia earlier this month.

With the arrival of the iPad Air 2, Apple included the Apple SIM to allow users to switch between rival mobile operators on short-term prepaid plans in the United States and the United Kingdom, depending on which prepaid offering is a better deal or has better coverage.

Apple has signed a global roaming agreement with GigSky to offer roaming services on the Apple SIM to over 90 countries, including most recently Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey.