the new iPhone 14 lineup Ships without physical SIM trays – but only in the US. They’ll be able to use two eSIMs simultaneously (and store more), but is the lack of a physical tray a big deal? Is it The user is hostile and stupid?
First, an update for the eSIMs: they are SIM cards, but they are electronic, not physical. This means your phone can be provisioned remotely – you won’t go to the store for a physical SIM. This makes it easier (in some ways) to switch networks or try one – T-Mobile now uses eSIMs Let people test its network for up to three months. As of iOS 16, you can even Transfer eSIM between iPhones via Bluetooth, which makes it almost as easy as a physical SIM – as long as you reside in the Apple ecosystem. naturally.
most important US carriers, and many companies around the world, have eSIM supportAnd the iPhones have supported them since 2018Including the ability to use two SIMs simultaneously. Until the iPhone 13, this meant one eSIM and one physical SIM; The iPhone 13 family introduced the ability to use two eSIM cards at the same time. Removing the physical SIM card – and the hole in the case you require it – is the next logical step. At least for Apple, and at least in the US – the iPhone 14 still has a SIM tray elsewhere.
If you’re on a major US cellular network – AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile – not having a physical SIM probably won’t affect you much. Even if you change carriers or change phones, you can download the eSIM directly from VerizonAnd the AT&Tor T-Mobile without going to the store.
But if you’re using a carrier that doesn’t support eSIM or you’re planning to switch to one, well, you shouldn’t get an iPhone 14 now. You may not have to wait long; This may be the payment that small carriers need to join eSIMs.
(Outside the US, the iPhone 14 lineup still includes nano-SIM slots.)
At the launch event, Apple spokespeople said the edge The iPhone 14 and 14 Pro can store a minimum of eight eSIMS, with up to two active simultaneously. Global eSIM distributor Airalo says previous iPhones can keep Five to 10, depending on the model. This may eliminate the loss of the physical SIM card tray, although not all international carriers support eSIMs. (I haven’t used Airalo and can’t vouch for it, but the ability to remotely provide a local eSIM when traveling abroad can take the hassle out of finding a local SIM.)
The ability to have more than one active SIM is great for frequent travelers, people who live in areas with spotty coverage of any network, or people with separate business and personal numbers. I bought my iPhone 11 when I was living in the Netherlands, and it has a Dutch eSIM and a physical Verizon SIM. This means I can use a local SIM whether I’m in Europe or the US without losing access to my other number or having to fiddle with iMessage or WhatsApp settings.
Physical SIM cards make it easy to bring your phone to a different carrier or bring your number to a new phone. It’s ubiquitous, works on all phones, and is easy enough to use (although also easy to lose; ask me how I know). Many of my co-workers are not excited about losing the SIM card slot. Transferring an eSIM from iPhone to Android phone is not necessarily straightforward.
I don’t think removing the SIM tray is necessarily hostile to the user for most people; Most people don’t switch carriers or phones every few weeks. But that depends on how easy it is for providers to install and migrate the eSIM across platforms. We’ll see how this happens.
Update September 7th, 4:45PM ET: Information about eSIM support has been added.
Correction September 8th, 12:06pm ET: The original text of this article misspelled the eSIM retail company Airalo. We are sorry for the error.
Sept 10th correction, 9:26 PM ET: An earlier version of this article mentioned that the iPhone 14 can store up to six eSIMs; Both the 14 and 14 Pro models can store at least eight.
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