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Could Apple be getting ready to drop the SIM slot?

It's a matter of when, not if.
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Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributor on

Rumors are floating around that Apple is preparing for a future where the SIM slot is a thing of the past, and that iPhones will switch to eSIM technology.

Given Apple's obsession with streamlining and simplifying and removing ports, this makes perfect sense, and it was always a case of when, and not if.

eSIM is the modern answer to the physical SIM card that needs to be slotted into a smartphone. Like most things, it offers advantages and disadvantages, but it's clearly where we're going in the future.

A report is circulating that Apple will offer an eSIM only version of the iPhone 14 alongside an option for a version with a regular nano-SIM.

Emma Mohr-McClune, a Technology Service Director at GlobalData, says that it was only a matter of time until Apple launched an iPhone without a physical SIM card slot.

"We don't believe that Apple will take the 'big bang' approach, getting rid of existing systems and transferring all users to eSIMs," writes Mohr-McClune, "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."

So, what this means is that initially, at least, there will be choices.

See also: I've changed the way I charge my iPhone. You should, too.

"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."

Mohr-McClune also has a warning for telcos that they "need to prepare carefully for such an eventuality, boosting their own internal eSIM support tools and general marketing and support readiness, as well as improving their own eSIM onboarding and anticipating aggressor eSIM-support 'test pilot' promotion, such as the ones we've seen recently in the US from T-Mobile and Verizon's Visible."

It makes perfect sense for Apple to make a move from SIM to eSIM.

Fewer ports, fewer components, fewer moving parts, and fewer holes for water and schmoo to get into the iPhone.

Unlimitedly, it all means a cheaper-to-build iPhone with fewer parts to support under warranty.

Which is exactly the sort of iPhone that Apple wants to make.

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