Physical plastic sim cards could soon be a thing of the past.

Apple and Samsung are in talks with the rest of the global telecommunications industry to launch new electronic sim cards, a move which could see the conventional plastic sim relegated to the past, the Financial Times has reported.

The two smartphone titans are in talks with the GSM association - which represents hundreds of phone carriers worldwide - and a standard e-sim which would be embedded in future phones is reportedly close to being announced and could be seen in the next generation iPhone.

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The move would give consumers the option to change phone providers without having to take out a conventional sim and replace it with a new one.

Apple has launched its own sim cards in the latest generation iPads, but it is only supported by selected carriers in the UK and US.

Although Apple is yet to announce any partnerships with New Zealand carriers, Apple users here are able to choose a cellular data plan without the need to buy a physical sim when travelling overseas.