It looks like Apple is about to become realistic when it comes to SIM format in forthcoming products, particularly the next-generation iPhone. For months there have been rumours that Apple wanted to dispense with SIM cards in order to save space. Instead, network connectivity would be handled internally. Now, apparently after discussion with some European carriers, the plan is to keep the SIM but make it still smaller.
I have no idea how the built-in, non-removable SIM idea would work, but I suspect it would be bad news for users who regularly travel and like to keep a stock of pay-as-you-go cards on hand for swapping. I suspect the ability to swap SIMs isn’t much in demand in the USA, but it is certainly a major factor in the rest of the world. In Europe, for instance, roaming charges are still so high that it pays travellers to keep local SIMs at the ready.
I certainly welcome a smaller-format SIM system that would retain swapability, but I’m very much against anything which would force users to pay exorbitant roaming charges. Unfortunately, the smaller the SIMs become, the more chance there is of dropping them down the side of an airline seat, but that’s another issue.