Is Apple about to take carrier disintermediation to the next level by contracting their own, built-in SIM card for future iPhones? GigaOm thinks so:
Sources inside European carriers have reported that Apple has been working with SIM-card manufacturer Gemalto to create a special SIM card that would allow consumers in Europe to buy a phone via the web or at the Apple Store and get the phones working using Apple’s App Store.
Right now, even with unlocked iPhones and iPads, you still need to get a carrier-specific SIM card. If the SIM were embedded, however, that's one less carrier interaction to worry about. The entire process could be shifted to the device, much as plan management is already done on the iPad.