Samsung has put 1GB of memory on a standard-sized SIM card, to allow phone operators to offer applications such as giant address books.

The memory on the S-SIM card can be made available to phone users, but is really aimed at mobile operators. Handsets equipped to read it would be able to carry new applications, launched from the SIM - the part of the phone that is uniquely tied to the user's subscription.

These applications are most likely to centre on consumer treats such as photos, multimedia and music. For instance, operators hope the tie-up between SIM and storage should allow them to apply DRM and sell more tunes. M-Systems, which launched a 512MB SIM earlier this year, and predicted a 1GB SIM this year, explains in a white paper.

Business users could also be catered for, as the SIMs will hold larger address books, and even whole PIM programs, and possibly more specialised applications that could then easily be carried from phone to phone. The S-SIM memory is a packaged system, and will be easier to synchronise with a PC, while phone makers are expected to apply security technology as a benefit over removable storage media such as SD cards.

Samsung's S-SIMs will use NAND flash memory, in a packaged memory system that can be used like USB memory. For now, these SIMs will only work with a small number of phones: Orange is testing SIM-storage phones from LG and Sagem.