When Apple launched the iPhone 4S they had a slide calling the iPhone a true World Phone. What they were talking about was the various antennae the phone had, making sure that it would work with most of the networks in the world. What I was hoping for was something different.
With all the traveling I’ve been doing lately, the issue I’ve run up against is the constant need to change my SIM card just so I can get an affordable local data plan. It’s funny how, despite all the advancements in smartphone technology, we are still tied to the bizarre and obsolete concept of a SIM card; the only innovation this little chip has seen in the past decade is a slight reduction in size.
Do we really need a SIM card anymore?
If you’re like me and have multiple numbers in various parts of the world, wouldn’t you like to be able to just register all your numbers in your phone and switch when you arrive at our new location? Basically, it will be an embedded hardware sim card that can be reprogrammed to use a different number through software. Check out the screens below for a rough mockup of what it could potentially look like.
A real world phone
Now, assuming that my version of the World Phone has become reality, if I’m visiting a new city, I just get a local visitor package with data so I don’t get hit with a ridiculous bill when I get back home. The next step is the only point at which a physical process is involved. I go to the mobile shop, fill in a form and hand over personal details like a copy of my passport, my mobile phone’s IMEI number and any other requirement, to be in compliance with local laws. Once those basic procedures are done, a receipt is generated with a special QR code/ Bar Code. Using my phone, all I need to do is take a picture of the QR code and the number is added to my numbers list. Alternatively, instead of the whole QR code process the data can be transmitted via NFC (iPhone5) or Bluetooth. I have obviously done these mock ups based on an iPhone but I am sure it can just as easily be ported to any other mobile platform.
So what would you vote for? Nano SIM or No Sim?