Commenting on the latest speculation that iPhone 14 series will only come with eSIMs, Emma Mohr-McClune of GlobalData says that it is unlikely for Apple to completely ditch the physical SIM in the upcoming iPhone models and might launch an eSIM only variant.
After a Brazilian blog claimed that iPhone 15 Pro will be the first model to remove the physical SIM card slot completely, a tipster told MacRumors that Apple has told major carriers in the U.S. to prepare for eSIM-only iPhone models launching in September 2022. The publisher claimed that the tipster share a “seemingly legitimate document” but did not mention Apple or iPhone, specifically.
As most carriers do not support eSIMs yet, iPhone 14 might offers an eSIM-only variant
Although saying that it is a matter of time when Apple will start offering eSIM-only iPhones, Mohr-McClune admits it is not going to happen this year. She believes that instead of shipping the entire iPhone 14 series with e-SIMs only, Apple is likely to offer an eSIM-only variant because most cellular carriers do not support eSIMs, the tech giant will continue with the dual eSIM and physical SIM models.
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.
The analyst also added that the eSIM-only iPhone will be like the iPad’s wireless data connectivity and for Apple’s VAS digital service.
“Further, we think it’s likely that the primary focus of this theoretical eSIM-only iPhone will be the Apple channel and that, by launch, Apple will provide this model with ‘wireless data connectivity inside’ together with one or more connectivity partners—much in the same way it positions 4G and 5G connectivity for the iPad today.
Apple may also consider a VAS digital service shakeup, aligning Apple-sourced connectivity with certain Apple-branded digital services for a more attractive overall proposition.