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Apple and Samsung in Talks to Develop e-Sim Card

Apple and Samsung are in discussions with GSMA, the mobile standards organization, to introduce electronic SIM cards. The discussion between two companies are due to the GSMA's imminent declaration of a standardized embedded SIM card for consumer devices, of which Apple and Samsung are primary players. It has already been rumored since late 2010 of Apple creating its own SIM card line which started when Gigaom claimed the company was working with the digital security firm Gemalto. The rumors lead people to believe that the two companies would work on the custom built-in SIM.

The e-SIM would play a viable part in preventing customers to from being latched onto a dedicated mobile carrier. This would allow them to sign with any network of choice and even immediately switch back if their decision is reversed. It is expected that major carriers such as AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchison Whampoa, Orange, Telefónica, and Vodafone are all already on board with the new e-SIM standard. Anna Bouverot, GSMA's chief executive, claims that all parties are "heading towards an agreement" concerning the e-SIM card standardized. However, it will be approximately one year before the market will provide these devices due to technical specifications of the e-SIM.

The GSMA stated, “With the majority of operators on board, the plan is to finalise the technical architecture that will be used in the development of an end-to-end remote SIM solution for consumer devices, with delivery anticipated by 2016…We have got everyone back on one point, with Apple and Samsung agreeing to be part of that specification,” said Ms Bouverot. “We have been working with them and others to create an industry solution for machines and will agree a solution for consumer electronics.”

Although the deal with Apple is not yet completed, the GSMA stated that it is "continuing to work with Apple to secure their support for the initiative" and an actual agreement with Apple "is still in progress."

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