In a few months’ time, Apple is expected to unveil the new iPhone 14 series. In addition to several other updates, it is also speculated that the company might ditch the physical SIM slot and adopt eSIM for the upcoming iPhone 14 models.
Although the news was taken with some skepticism at the beginning, a new report by the Wall Street Journal estimates that it is likely possible because of the wide adoption of the technology in Europe and Asia.
Apple began offering an eSIM option in the iPhone X series and until iPhone 12 series, the company allowed users to keep multiple lines with an eSIM and physical SIM. However, in the latest iPhone 13 series, Apple lets users keep either an eSIM and a physical SIM or two active eSIMs. This year, the company upgraded the entry-level iPhone SE 3 with dual SIM and eSIM.
iPhone 14 might offer an eSIM-only model to deliver a better experience
According to the report, even in the United States, three major service providers are gearing up to introduce eSIM service. The vice president of mobile devices and accessories at AT&T, Jeff Howard called the transition from physical SIM to eSIM “a natural evolution” which is going to “make the experience better down the road.”
The news corroborates the analysis of Emma Mohr-McClune of GlobalData who said that it is unlikely for Apple to completely remove the physical SIM slot in the iPhone 14 and switch to eSIMs only. However, the company is going to introduce an eSIMs-only option this year.
We don’t believe that Apple will take the ‘big bang’ approach—getting rid of existing systems and transferring all users to eSIMs—but rather launch an eSIM-only variant of its upcoming new model—retaining the dual eSIM-plus-physical SIM slot model for the mass market and its key carrier channel.”
To that end, we believe telecom companies will be given the choice of whether to stock and sell a new eSIM-only iPhone variation alongside more cellular business-friendly dual eSIM/physical SIM support models.
As the days of physical SIMs have been counted, the transition to only eSIM for iPhone 14 seems like the next logical step for the tech giant.