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Apple could be pushing for an eSIM-only future. Since some iPhone 14 models will supposedly be offered without a detachable SIM card, it is beginning to seem more and more likely that eSIMs (embedded SIMs) may soon take the place of physical SIM cards in smartphones.
The Wall Street Journal claims that. This indicates that some members of the iPhone family in 2022 may only use an eSIM. An eSIM, or embedded SIM, is a digital SIM that is integrated into the phone and cannot be removed; as a result, when switching carriers or networks, a new number is simply written onto it, rather than having to insert a physical card.
However, this change is unlikely to be forced upon you if you buy an iPhone 14. Rather, eSIM-only variants of the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max, and iPhone 14 Max are expected to be offered alongside models that have both eSIM and a physical SIM card support.
It would then be down to telecom companies and stores to decide whether to stock the eSIM-only versions alongside the standard versions or not. It doesn’t sound like there’s an expectation that any carrier will just stock the eSIM-only versions, so you’re likely to have the choice, regardless of which mobile carrier you use.
It’s not the first time we’ve heard a claim like this, and switching to eSIM-only phones has some undeniable benefits. They take up less space in phones, allowing for the installation of bigger batteries or other technological advancements. You can still have a phone that functions virtually like a dual-SIM by using solely eSIM technology because eSIMs can support several networks.
Additionally, switching networks with an eSIM should be easier and quicker than switching networks with traditional SIM cards. Additionally, eSIMs can be patched more quickly and have security upgrades sent on a far wider scale than conventional SIM cards can.
So they probably are the future, and if any company is positioned to spur on their mass-adoption, it’s Apple.
Analysis: there needs to be some motivation
In some respects, it makes sense to offer the iPhone 14 in both eSIM-only and physical SIM-plus-eSIM configurations. Offering an eSIM-only version as a choice would help increase the appeal of this newer technology without requiring consumers to make a transition. Apple has long provided the latter with iPhones, indicating the corporation is interested in eSIMs.
But unless it comes with other benefits, it’s a move that can also be too tiny. Why would people pick a phone that only supports eSIM over one that also has a physical SIM card, unless the cheaper or more advantageous option is also available?
In most cases, they probably wouldn’t. Apple is unlikely to capitalize on the space saving the eSIM-only devices permit when the model is just a variation of a phone that typically does have a physical SIM, and right now most of the other advantages eSIMs offer aren’t really being leveraged either, namely due to lacking carrier support.
Therefore, even while the launch of an iPhone with an eSIM may encourage customer adoption, it doesn’t seem like the move will have much of an effect on its own. The greatest phones will eventually only accept eSIM, so maybe Apple will do more to encourage users to embrace this future.