iPhone 15 Pro could be the first to ditch the physical SIM card slot [Update]

Apple’s iPhone so-called iPhone 15 is still two years away but that won’t stop the rumor mill. As per a sketchy rumor from Brazilian site BlogDoiPhone, iPhone 15 Pro could be the first iPhone model to ship without a physical SIM card slot. The unverified rumor, which should be taken with a grain of salt, is allegedly based on “internal sources.”

Apple iPhone SIM card slot

Apple could remove the physical SIM card slot with iPhone 15 Pro

The report explains (translated):

Apple has long been experimenting with ways to no longer need the SIM card (known in Brazil as the “carrier chip“), implementing eSIM technology.

But according to internal sources of the iPhone Blog, from 2023 the Pro version of the iPhone may already start coming without any input to the physical SIM, working only with 2 eSIM slots.

Apple has been transitioning towards eSIM technology for the past several years. Even before it added Dual SIM support in the iPhone XS/XR, it snuck the functionality in a 2016 iPad and to the cellular Apple Watch Series 3 a year later. This year’s iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro are the first iPhones to feature support for dual eSIMs, whereas older models could only support one eSIM.

Apple was also rumored to be testing a port-less iPhone after the EU’s USB-C proposal. TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo at the time said that the tech giant has no plans to ditch the Lightning port on the iPhone in “the foreseeable future” and could move straight to a portless iPhone that relies solely on its MagSafe wireless charging standard instead. It would make sense for the company to get rid of the physical SIM card slot at the same time.

It is also possible that Apple could release the SIM-free iPhone in certain markets. iPhone 15 Pro models might still have a physical SIM card slot in countries where eSIM service is not available.

Other rumored features for iPhone 15 include under-display Touch ID and new 3nm chips on the inside. It is important to keep in mind that we are still two years away from the release of iPhone 15, so any rumors must be treated with some skepticism.

Update: An anonymous tipster told MacRumors that Apple has advised major carriers in the United States to gear up for the launch of eSIM-only smartphones by September 2022. Keeping this update in mind, it is possible Apple might remove the SIM card slot starting with some iPhone 14 models next year rather than starting with iPhone 15.

Leaker @dylandkt corroborated the rumors in a tweet saying they are “in agreement with recent rumors regarding the removal of the physical SIM card tray.” 

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About the Author

Asma is an editor at iThinkDifferent with a strong focus on social media, Apple news, streaming services, guides, mobile gaming, app reviews, and more. When not blogging, Asma loves to play with her cat, draw, and binge on Netflix shows.

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