Physical SIM cards may soon disappear from mobile devices as eSIM technology becomes more popular in Eurasian markets. The Cupertino tech giant has already added an eSIM option to its third-generation iPhone SE (model 2022), for example. Meanwhile, major U.S. carriers are actively preparing for a new generation of iPhones without a physical SIM slot.
(Photo from: Jon Prosser x Xian Zelbo)
Earlier the Wall Street Journal pointed out in a new report that the upcoming iPhone 14 may lead the way in this technological improvement.
For Eurasian consumers, they also prefer to get a more cost-effective package with policies such as prepaid/contracted phones.
Consumers are unlikely to switch carriers as often as they would like during a 2-year contract. But regardless, all three major U.S. carriers are preparing in advance for a SIM-free future.
For the iPhone 13 series released last year, Apple has stopped offering physical SIM cards in the box. Even some Android mobile device makers have dropped support for physical SIM cards altogether.
Jeff Howard, AT&T’s vice president of mobile devices and accessories, says this helps make the experience better in the future.
Earlier this year, GlobalData analyst Emma Mohr-McClune made the bold statement that an eSIM-only iPhone model is a matter of “when,” not “if. It’s a question of “when”, not “if”.
At the same time, many consumers still have a specific need for multiple SIM cards. So it’s more likely that Apple will start offering pure eSIM models from the iPhone 14 generation and keep the physical/dual SIM option for the mass market.
As for the technical aspects, consumers of the CDMA/Sprint era iPhone 4 have already experienced the “over-the-air writing” feature.
In recent years, the Apple Watch smartwatch and iPhone XS and above have had a relatively complete solution (iPhone 13 even uses dual eSIM communication).
Finally, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Anthony Goonetilleke, president and head of the strategy for AMDocs Technology Group, the eSIM software company, said that a full switch to eSIM is the right choice for the future for security reasons.
If a problem is discovered, vendors can instantly push security updates to millions of customers around the world, which is difficult to do with physical SIM cards.