According to French website MacGeneration, Apple’s iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models may be available in France this year without a SIM card holder. This means that these devices can only use eSIM (embedded SIM) cellular connections.
If the SIM card tray is removed in France, it will probably be removed in at least some other European countries/regions, as Apple typically sells the same iPhone model in most of Europe. For example, the iPhone 14 Pro model number A2890, which is sold in France, is also sold in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and other countries.
Apple removed the SIM card tray from all iPhone 14 series models in the U.S. market last September, forcing customers to use eSIM – a digital SIM that allows users to activate a cellular plan without using a physical nano-SIM card. Apple has provided a support document that lists carriers worldwide that support eSIM technology.
When the iPhone 14 series launched in the U.S., Apple touted eSIMs as more secure than physical SIMs because they can’t be removed from a lost or stolen iPhone. Apple added that up to eight eSIMs can be managed in the iPhone’s Settings app, eliminating the need to obtain, carry and replace a physical SIM card while traveling. iPhone 13 and later can have two eSIMs activated at the same time.
Previously, TechhInsights reported that eSIMs will enable smartphone shipments to grow 15 percent annually through 2023. While the iPhone will continue to dominate the eSIM smartphone market in 2023, its share of the smartphone market will actually drop to 65 percent, reflecting greater participation from other smartphone manufacturers.
eSIM or eUICC is considered the next iteration of the SIM card, offering the ability to change service provider profiles through OTA without physically replacing the SIM card itself.