Apple have always wanted to eliminate the SIM card. They introduced the Nano-SIM with the iPhone 5, and their last iPad release came with a form of Apple SIM. This allowed users switch between 3 or more operators without swapping any SIM cards. Everything was achievable with an interface within the iPad.
This time in collaboration with Samsung, Apple is approaching mobile network operators to adopting a new technology called e-SIM (or embedded SIM). The new idea is proposed to be a universal standard, whereby the ‘e-SIM’ is inbuilt into phones and not user accessible.
The e-SIM would allow customers to sign up on any network they wanted, and also let them switch at any time (obviously with some limitations placed by the carriers). Talks are already ongoing and we might see a debut as early as 2016. How this plays out we can’t really tell? But maybe this might be the next trend with smartphones.