[Apple Rumor Mill] Is Apple looking to shaft the carriers?

Even before I start I want to make it clear – this is a rumor folks.

According to Stacey Higginbotham at GigaOM it is rumored that Apple is working with SIM-card manufacturer Gemalto to create a special SIM card that would allow consumers in Europe to buy their iPhone via the Apple website, or apple store, and get it working via the App Store.

It is 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 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.

Uhm … didn’t Google try something like this and fail miserably?