Apple is considering saying goodbye to the SIM slot and betting exclusively on the eSIM. It’s not going to be easy

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In 2016 the GSMA unveiled the eSIM, a “virtual” SIM format that made it possible to completely dispense with the small physical card. Manufacturers began to take advantage of it in some devices little by little, and the proposal also penetrated even in Applewho took advantage of this technology in 2018 for the first time.

Now according to Bloomberg the cupertino company you are considering saying goodbye to the SIM slot traditional and specifically focus on the eSIM. The change is important for Apple and the industry, but it faces several major hurdles.

Apple’s pulse does not tremble in these farewells

Mark Gurman, known for being right in his predictions about the direction of Apple products and services, recently commented on how the company is debating whether to ditch the physical SIM slot.

In his newsletter, ‘Power On’, this analyst explained that “Apple will give eSIM a bigger boost this time, with carriers preparing to push users towards embedded and digital eSIM cards instead of physical cards.

“In fact,” he pointed out, “Apple has considered the possibility of remove physical slot for the SIM card from this year or next for some models”. The iPhone 13, for example, support multiple eSIM profiles between which you can later switch, something useful for frequent travelers.

It’s been a long time since is spoken of that possibility, and certainly Apple has not shown fear of this type of change in the past. They got rid of the floppy drive and later the optical drive on their Macs without trembling their pulseand they did the same thing with the controversial removal of the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 in 2016.

Removing this physical slot would allow Apple further improve the iPhone’s resistance to water and even free up some space on the device to fit a larger battery for example.

eSIM or virtual SIM: what is it, what advantages does it have and what is its compatibility in Spain

The company likes those kinds of changes – which also simplify manufacturing and avoid vendor dependencies and internals—and the possibility certainly seems feasible. And yet here the option seems difficult to be eradicated so easily.

The rumors of these days are joined in fact to a real fact: The option in iOS 16 that allows you to transfer data from an eSIM from one iPhone to another via Bluetooth. An Important Hint of what the future can be without a SIM slot, of course.

The technology is ready, but not everyone uses it

The idea of ​​being able to dispense with a physical SIM card is certainly interesting, but six years after its presentation, the truth is that the presence of eSIM technology in mobile devices is limited.


This is demonstrated by the situation of eSIM in Spain, where support is ripe among the most important operators, but not so much among the low-cost alternatives. The number of models and manufacturers that take advantage of the eSIM, however, is low.

Apple and Google are protagonists here, while Samsung, Motorola and even Huawei also take advantage of it in some models. The presence of Chinese manufacturers is anecdotal – OPPO is one of those considered among the operators – and there are also no frequent mentions of wearables.

It seems difficult for them to do so. In the first place, because, for example, in Spain the eSIM service offered by the operators is not promoted too much and it even seems to raise it in a more relevant way. for wearables (Apple Watch) or for tablets like the iPad, and not so much for mobiles.

Second and more importantly, because as we said there are many manufacturers that do not even offer eSIM technology in their terminals. Most Chinese manufacturers have ignored it until now and they often include Dual SIM trays where one of the card slots also serves as a storage card.

The truth is that the rumor is consistent with previous Apple decisions when disposing of components of their devices, but the current state of acceptance and implementation of eSIM technology seems to work against such a strategy.

Image | Brett Jordan

In 2016 the GSMA unveiled the eSIM, a “virtual” SIM format that made it possible to completely dispense with the…

In 2016 the GSMA unveiled the eSIM, a “virtual” SIM format that made it possible to completely dispense with the…

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