Itís rumored that Apple and Gemalto have created a SIM card, which is typically a chip that carries subscriber identification information for the carriers, that will be integrated into the iPhone itself. Then customers will then be able to choose their carrier at time of purchase at the Apple web site or retail store, or buy the phone and get their handset up and running through a download at the App Store as opposed to visiting a carrier store or calling the carrier. Either way, it reduces the role of the carrier in the iPhone purchase. Gemalto and Apple have not responded to requests for comment. Iím also waiting to hear back from other sources to get more details.
A SIM card that can be removed would allow you to both change your carrier after purchasing the phone AND perhaps change your phone and keep your carrier.
A removable SIM card is proven technology. They are going to a lot of trouble to create a non removable SIM card.
It's less about enabling customer choice and more about making sure that choice happens at an Apple Store.
They want the traffic that would otherwise go to a carrier store. If you go to a carrier store you might (gasp) accidentally buy something that's not an iPhone and be subject to "fragmentation". Plus the carrier would get a commission for the iPhone instead of Apple getting a commission for the service.