Last month, we talked about the rumor that Apple is developing an integrated SIM card. This integration would allow the user to activate his phone with any service carrier by simply downloading an app. Apple would include a generic SIM card in the mobile device like an iPad or iPhone, and the new user would only sign a virtual contract with their phone carrier. While it's difficult to say what effects this new dynamic would have on the retail phone business, an integrated SIM card would definitely change the phone game. Despite rumors about the integrated SIM, there hasn't been any further confirmation of the news.
However, on November 21, The Telegraph reported that even this conjectural development into the integrated SIM has been stopped. Citing an unnamed senior source, The Telegraph says that Apple gave up their plans to bundle an integrated SIM when mobile carriers threatened to no longer subsidize the purchase of new devices. Since many iPhone users enjoy a discount on their phone cost thanks to the mobile carriers' contracts, the loss of that subsidy could have a significant impact on the purchase of new iPhones. The Telegraph cites this as the reason that Apple has stopped integrated SIM development for iPhones, although it will continue plans to bundle such a SIM card with the iPad.
The challenge with these rumors is that there has been no announcement or indication from Cupertino itself. While we've been following the information from unofficial sources, we're mostly seeing rumors about a conjectural functionality. An integrated SIM card could mean awesome freedom for iPhone and iPad users, but we just don't know the true heart about what's going on yet. It is worth noting the GSMA has launched an initiative that would enable an embedded SIM to be remotely activated, but this initiative never mentions Apple. Further, such functionality wouldn't even appear until 2012.
[Via Boy Genius]