Fortunately, this situation is changing: Telefónica has recently launched an IoT store for SIM cards. The store can be found at https://m2m.telefonica.de/shop-iot-sim-karten/ and allows SIMs to be ordered from quantity 1. The prices are quite competitive and should not be dissimilar to prices from larger framework agreements.
In our view, this is a step in the right direction. Access to M2M SIMs should be as simple as possible, and the use of appropriate cards enables much better management of devices in the field. “Normal SIMs” may theoretically not be used in fixed installations, although this is probably very rarely tracked.
Smaller companies and startups can easily get access to proper SIMs and build interesting applications quickly and easily.