(Karl Baron/Flickr/CC BY 2.0)
(Karl Baron/Flickr/CC BY 2.0)
(Karl Baron/Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

Tyler Wells Lynch, Reviewed.com via USA TODAY

(USA Today) — Smartphones have completely changed how we interact with each other and our surroundings, but there’s one feature in our little mobile gizmos that feels inescapably archaic: the SIM card. Why, in 2015, are we shackled to these little plastic widgets? Why isn’t there a software-based alternative?

Well, Apple and Samsung are working on a solution. According to a report in the Financial Times, the two rivals are engaged in negotiations with various mobile carriers to implement a new type of SIM card. The report claims that the new device, called an e-SIM, would remain inside your phone—unlocked—and allow you to change network carriers through your mobile OS.

That sounds like it would save a lot of headaches, but don’t hold your breath just yet. SIM locking is an advantageous feature for wireless carriers, as it discourages—or at least complicates—casual network swapping. Regardless, a number of major carriers have apparently already shown some degree of interest in switching to e-SIM, including AT&T, T-Mobile, Vodafone, and Orange.



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