Mobile Phone SIM Cards Destined for Tech Scrap Heap
NEWS ANALYSIS: The subscriber identity module, or SIM, is found in nearly every modern mobile phone, but if Apple, Samsung and the GSMA agree, it may disappear.Your phone almost certainly has a SIM card located in a slot on the side or top of the device. It's under a tiny hatch that you open with a special tool that came with your phone, or once you've lost that tool, it's opened using a paper clip. The SIM itself looks a lot like the memory cards in your digital camera. That should be no surprise because that's what it is—a memory card. Phones on GSM networks, meaning T-Mobile and AT&T in the United States as well as nearly everyone else outside the United States, have had these cards since the beginning of mobile phones. With the advent of Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology, they're in virtually all phones. SIM cards contain the basic information about your phone, including the phone number and your carrier. The memory on the card also allows you to store additional information, such as the phone numbers of your contacts.
Those cards are about to disappear if talks between Apple, Samsung and the GSMA (the international standards organization for mobile telephony) are fruitful. Right now, according to a story in the Financial Times, the groups that have to deal with the cards are ready to ditch them. This includes the mobile carriers who use them including AT&T and Deutsche Telekom, majority owner of T-Mobile.