Next iPhone to ditch network sim cards?

It's a logical way of going forward, but it the next iPhone does ditch the sim card as we know it, it could turn the mobile phone business upside down.

According to the GigaOM site, Apple has been working with sim card manufacturer Gemalto to create its own version of the sim, which would allow phone buyers in Europe to pick up a new iPhone 5 on the web or in an Apple store, getting it to work via Apple's app store.

How? Well, that new sim card would include 'subscriber identification information' for the carriers. Customers would then be able to choose their network at the time of purchase or via a download at the app store. It cuts out the network stores in other words. Not completely, but certainly significantly.

It means Apple starts to take control of retail. Yes, the networks would still be able to make money out of the call and data use, but you suspect Apple will be taking a bigger bite of the pie. Not only that, it might mean more competition for call packages, with all the networks forced to compete online for your business.

But there's a bigger issue here. If it works for Apple, why not for everyone else? It's something that could be giving CEOs of mobile networks nightmares right now. More on this as it develops.

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