Apple developing open SIM for iPhone service, RFID sales

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple is reportedly working with chip manufacturer Gemalto to deliver an iPhone SIM card capable of working with multiple carriers, allowing users to shop for mobile service directly from the Apple Store. The deal likely also involves authentication for contactless, RFID mobile transactions.



According to a report by Gigaom, the codeveloped SIM would be integrated into future iPhones to enable users to activate service without having to call or visit a mobile carrier after purchasing their phone.



Instead, users will be able to shop for service from competing carriers right as they purchase their phone. Currently, users must set up a contract with and obtain a special, carrier-specific (and carrier-locked) SIM card from a given provider after they purchase their iPhone.



The new Gemalto SIM, the report notes, "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."



In addition to saving iPhone customers the step of having to visit a mobile provider to obtain a carrier-specific SIM, a programable SIM could also enable users to roam across regions and obtain service without requiring a unique SIM for each different location.



Open SIM, contactless transactions



While observers have hailed the concept as a way for Apple to open up the market for phone service to increased competition, a larger aspect of the reported Gemalto-Apple partnership is likely to involve NFC (near field communications), a technology that enables users to authenticate themselves with electronic terminals in order to make retail purchases, obtain tickets, and perform other transactions using RFID (radio frequency identification).



Gemalto already operates as a Trusted Server Manager to facilitate secure, contactless purchases using NFC technology. Additionally, Apple has already filed patents and hired a product manager, and has reportedly started testing prototypes of iPhones using NFC features.



Working with an established NFC expert to deliver a SIM-based way to make contactless transactions from iPhones could quickly establish Apple as a major player in handling secure authentication for convenient retail transactions. Tied into iAd, such a position would enable Apple to woo advertisers with the prospect of immediately translating marketing opportunities in to sales.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    801801 Posts: 271member
    Steve Jobs next target is to replace your wallet.



    That and to create your next virtual business office server in the new cloud. Oh, and your hard drive too.



    But the wallet is next in the consumer line. And wait til he figures out how to eliminate your keys.
  • Reply 2 of 34
    I can see Apple building this in... supporting all GSM carriers and CDMA to boot, then sell it to the world. Boom. One true world phone. The good thing about a permanent SIM is a thief may not be able to use the phone... making them less of a target.
  • Reply 3 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 801 View Post


    Steve Jobs next target is to replace your wallet.



    That and to create your next virtual business office server in the new cloud. Oh, and your hard drive too.



    But the wallet is next in the consumer line. And wait til he figures out how to eliminate your keys.



    Yeah, but there will be enough Luddites and other scared people to delay this implementation at least another five to ten years.
  • Reply 4 of 34
    Did I read this correctly....Apple is going to have chips in the iPhone so you can shop for the cheapest cell service, month to month?



    Or is just a way to spend money using your iPhone instead of a credit/debit card?



    Oh well...I would like cell phone coverage to be "commoditized."



    I'm paying $120/mo...way too much! I think I will switch to a dumb phone and an Wifi iPad!
  • Reply 5 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 801 View Post


    Steve Jobs next target is to replace your wallet.



    That and to create your next virtual business office server in the new cloud. Oh, and your hard drive too.



    But the wallet is next in the consumer line. And wait til he figures out how to eliminate your keys.



    The wallet has already been done. The Japanese call it "osaifu keitai" (literally "wallet phone"). They wave their phones over sensors as transit passes, buying event tickets, boarding passes, paying for groceries, as loyalty ("club") cards, etc. They've been doing it for about five years.



    You could use the same NFC contactless system as a key, however the locks are generally too expensive except in commercial/industrial applications. Companies have been using key cards for decades.



    The first practical application as an electronic key from a consumer standpoint would probably be your car. Quite a few luxury autos now have keyless wireless fobs.
  • Reply 6 of 34
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 8corewhore View Post


    i can see apple building this in... Supporting all gsm carriers and cdma to boot, then sell it to the world. Boom. One true world phone. The good thing about a permanent sim is a thief may not be able to use the phone... Making them less of a target.



    world phone by apple

    yes
  • Reply 7 of 34
    mgl323mgl323 Posts: 247member
    So Apple is trying to do what Google failed to do with the Nexus ?



    1. Apple wants you to go to their Apple Store web site

    2. Select which model you want

    3. Select color (in the future)

    4. Select how much GB you want

    5. Choose a carrier

    6. Pick a plan

    7. Confirm purchase
  • Reply 8 of 34
    cubertcubert Posts: 728member
    "Tied into iAd, such a position would enable Apple to woo advertisers with the prospect of immediately translating marketing opportunities in to sales."



    Wow! Now I call that thinking outside the dodecahedron.
  • Reply 9 of 34
    irelandireland Posts: 17,780member
    Tied into iAd? Yuck. Let me buy a ticket and then leave me alone. I want my next purchase to be my decision.
  • Reply 10 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mgl323 View Post


    So Apple is trying to do what Google failed to do with the Nexus ?



    1. Apple wants you to go to their Apple Store web site

    2. Select which model you want

    3. Select color (in the future)

    4. Select how much GB you want

    5. Choose a carrier

    6. Pick a plan

    7. Confirm purchase







    Why not kill the carriers?

    I am waiting.
  • Reply 11 of 34
    wow, this is going to be huge... world phone would be much better as when we are travelling we no need to buy a new sim just activate the local number... amazing, can't wait to actually see it happen...
  • Reply 12 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Instead, users will be able to shop for service from competing carriers right as they purchase their phone. Currently, users must set up a contract with and obtain a special, carrier-specific (and carrier-locked) SIM card from a given provider after they purchase their iPhone.



    Why would AT&T go along with this, unless there was a way for them to permalock the phone at activation?
  • Reply 13 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post


    I'm paying $120/mo...way too much! I think I will switch to a dumb phone and an Wifi iPad!



    I just cancelled my iPhone service and switched to an iPod Touch with Skype. It costs $4/month with my own phone number. Only downside is the lack of an ear speaker on the iPod, which means I need an iPhone headset.
  • Reply 14 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ochyming View Post


    Why not kill the carriers?

    I am waiting.



    Because you can't they have put all the money into building the network. Unless Apple plans on buying ATT or Verizon.



    If Apple makes a world phone then they could care less about what carrier you use, all they care about is selling their hardware and you using their services to by content.
  • Reply 15 of 34
    NFC is being built into SIM cards, not the phone itself, so they can provide this functionality for every iPhone ever sold. You sure don't want to buy a new phone just to get a new "gimmick" electronic payment system, but if it's just a new SIM, why not? With this strategy, Apple will get every iPhone/iPod touch user on board, which would actually be a pretty big number. Enough to convince other companies to start building NFC hardware into their turnstiles/vending machines etc. So this is smart.



    Of course, other phones will be able to use this infrastructure as well. So, using its market weight, Apple will be the final "straw" to bring NFC to terminals all over the world, not just Japan.
  • Reply 16 of 34
    Would be so cool if Apple can patent this world phone on a SIM concept so tightly that no one else can copy it. Huge advantage, whether in licensing fees or market share.
  • Reply 17 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by yakovlev View Post


    NFC is being built into SIM cards, not the phone itself, so they can provide this functionality for every iPhone ever sold. You sure don't want to buy a new phone just to get a new "gimmick" electronic payment system, but if it's just a new SIM, why not? With this strategy, Apple will get every iPhone/iPod touch user on board, which would actually be a pretty big number. Enough to convince other companies to start building NFC hardware into their turnstiles/vending machines etc. So this is smart.



    Of course, other phones will be able to use this infrastructure as well. So, using its market weight, Apple will be the final "straw" to bring NFC to terminals all over the world, not just Japan.



    Sounds great, but I didn't think the iPod Touch had a SIM card?

    I would be keen been for this functionality in the iPhone though!
  • Reply 18 of 34
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,774member
    I hope they can get this done.
  • Reply 19 of 34
    sennensennen Posts: 1,469member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Tied into iAd? Yuck. Let me buy a ticket and then leave me alone. I want my next purchase to be my decision.



    meh, the iAds will help people make an informed decision and keep up with the latest deals. You can always ignore them if you've already done your research.
  • Reply 20 of 34
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,988member
    Pffft! Android had this years ago.
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