Apple Reveals Plans for Virtual SIM Card

Posted November 3, 2011 at 6:19pm by iClarified | Please help us and submit a translation by clicking here | 17394 views

Apple has revealed plans for a virtual SIM card in a new patent application entitled, 'Wireless Network Authentication Apparatus and Methods', reports Patently Apple.

In Apple's patent FIGS. 5a and 5b shown below we see two exemplary embodiments of a hardware architecture (502, 504) for a "virtual" Subscriber Identity Modules (SIMs) according to the invention. Unlike prior art solutions, the exemplary embodiments of FIGS. 5a and 5b store a USIM 506 within an embedded Secure Element (SE) 508, which isn't a removable card. The first illustrated embodiment 502 of the present invention (FIG. 5a) additionally includes a Near Field Communication (NFC) router 510.

A virtual SIM card will reportedly improve security and allow Apple to build an even thinner iPhone.

Back in 2010, reports first surfaced that Apple was working on a special integrated SIM Card to cut carriers out of the iPhone retail process. Later in the year, some European carriers warned Apple that they will refuse to subsidize the iPhone if Apple utilizes an embedded card. Following these threats it was reported that Apple gave up on its plans for the iPhone but may still be looking to build the embedded SIM into the iPad.

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Not on your life - November 4, 2011 at 6:08am
What about
Already been - November 4, 2011 at 4:14am
Relax. There is nothing indicating this sim is locked. It is simply a diagnostic diagram and says nothing about how the sim is represented on a boards circuitry. ---PUT---THE---PUNCH---DOWN
Tiestofan - November 4, 2011 at 12:10am
Their trying to stop the unlocking of their phone, I hope this never happens!
HO - November 3, 2011 at 7:00pm
...incredible, they are unaware of CDMA...oh wait, they just want to modify it and make it more like anything mapple, a communist model.....
Big black azz - November 3, 2011 at 7:47pm
I like this idea! pain in the arse swapping sims... and the carriers could just activate via a code or something ...
Russell - November 4, 2011 at 6:12am
A bigger pain in the ass would be losing the ability to swap sims. If I break my phone, I can put my sim in another phone and be up and running in less than a minute!
No ma'am - November 4, 2011 at 2:21pm
I stick to gsm providers just for the ability to swap sims. It's a life saver.
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