While consumers are eagerly waiting for Apple’s next-gen iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, the tech giant is already looking to shake-up the telecom industry with the iPhone 7. According to the Financial Times, Apple, Samsung and other smartphone vendors are close to announcing a common architecture for an electronic SIM.

iPhone 7 To Kill Off The Physical SIM Card

iPhone 7 unlikely to arrive until late 2016

GSM Association, which represents hundreds of telecom carriers across the globe, is close to announcing the new standard for consumer devices. GSM Association CEO Anne Bouverot said all parties involved were heading toward an agreement on the “common architecture.” The first e-SIM smartphones are expected to hit the store shelves about a year later. The iPhone 7 will likely arrive in late 2016.

The traditional SIM locks in users to a network. But the e-SIM would allow users to avoid locking themselves into a plan with a single network. They can sign up or switch to their network of choice instantly. Financial Times said the move would “fundamentally change how consumers sign up to mobile operators.

iPhone 7 may have Home button embedded into display

The Cupertino-based tech giant took the first step last year by introducing ‘Apple SIM’ in its iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3. It allows users to switch easily between Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T to take advantage of each carrier’s short-term, long-term and shared data plans. However, it was supported by only a handful of wireless operators.

Besides the new e-SIM card, the iPhone 7 may have the Home button embedded into its display. The Next Web reports that Sonavation has developed fingerprint sensors capable of scanning from under the Gorilla Glass Apple uses in its iPhones. Though there is no tie-up at this point between Apple and Sonavation, it indicates that the technology to replace the physical home button is already there. A report claimed last month that Apple was working on its own technology to replace the physical home button.