Apple is working on a 'special' SIM card that could allow the company to offer telephony services direct rather than rely on third party carriers according to a new report.
According to tech site GigaOM, Apple has teamed with SIM-card manufacturer Gemalto to work on the project, that could see customers buy and activate iPhones directly from Apple's stores or more likely online or by connecting to Apple's iTunes App Store.
The website reports Apple and Gemalto have created a SIM card: "Which is typically a chip that carries subscriber identification information for the carriers, that will be integrated into the iPhone itself."
"Then customers will then be able to choose their carrier at time of purchase at the Apple web site or retail store, or buy the phone and get their handset up and running through a download at the App Store as opposed to visiting a carrier store or calling the carrier," notes GigaOM's Stacey Higginbotham.
The Gemalto SIM, according to Higginbotham's sources, 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 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," adds Higginbotham.