There is great excitement over yesterday being the day when AT&T and Verizon began selling the iPad, but the good feelings between Apple and wireless service providers may not last much longer. Reports out of Europe state that Apple is working on a special SIM card which will allow users to buy iPhones directly from Apple and turn on service via the App Store. The new card will apparently be built directly into the phone and will let users effectively cut out the middleman.

The device is a joint venture between Apple and Gemalto, and the new SIM card will prompt users to select their carrier and activate their phone via an App Store download rather than having to call or physically visit a store to get things set up and working properly. The chip’s built-in ROM already has all the technical and security aspects written on it, leaving space where users fill in the carrier info via download. Thus, your phone is a blank slate, ready to roll as soon as you pop the last piece of the puzzle in place.

This rumor, if true, would basically allow Apple to fling open the doors and let just about any carrier they authorize provide iPhone service. While the device is already available on multiple carriers in Europe, moving from one company to another is still a cumbersome task. With this new SIM card changing to a new wireless plan is as simple as downloading a new bit of software, allowing consumers to be much more mobile with their mobile phones. Imagine that!

Such a setup would be a sweetheart deal for customers, who could easily jump from carrier to carrier in order to constantly get the best deal. Having a permanent, phone-specific SIM card means you’ll never lose your personal information and saved numbers, so all you have to worry about is how to save the most money. The only ones upset by this would be the wireless carriers, but it’s hard to drum up much sympathy for that lot.

[via Gigaom]