Apple may have silently started an eSIM revolution with the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR

Apple may have silently started an eSIM revolution with the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR
It’s easy to ridicule Apple for adding dual SIM capabilities to the 2018 iPhone lineup when considering this has been a standard feature (at least in certain regions) for a number of Android handset manufacturers starting many years ago.

But it’s important to keep in mind the iPhone XS, XS Max, and iPhone XR don’t actually come with two physical SIM card slots. Well, they do in China, but everywhere else they combine a real, tangible nano-SIM tray with digital eSIM technology.

The latter was previously used on the Apple Watch Series 3, essentially allowing the wearable device to connect to a cellular network without having to accommodate a traditional SIM card.

The main drawback of the otherwise super-convenient feature is that the vast majority of the world’s wireless service providers are not yet ready for it. A measly 14 carriers from 10 countries make up the list of official iPhone XS and XS Max eSIM endorsers right now, although at least one more name should be added to the roster soon enough.

While the “traditional” SIM card is not expected to “disappear anytime soon” for this simple reason, eSIM use could become ubiquitous in just a few years. That’s according to a new forward-looking report compiled by ABI Research, with the “market-foresight advisory firm” anticipating shipments of eSIM smartphones to reach 420 million units annually by 2022.

Obviously, iPhones are likely to account for a decent chunk of that total, but companies like Samsung, Huawei, LG, Xiaomi, and OPPO could soon follow suit (as they always do), embracing what may feel like a trivial feature for consumers at a first glance. 

However, ABI Research describes the eSIM “form-factor” as a “transformative technology”, impacting the “entire SIM value chain”, not to mention how it frees up precious space for smartphone manufacturers while vastly improving the convenience of the network activation and switching experience for the end user. 

It’s worth pointing out that Google actually beat Apple to the eSIM punch last year with the Pixel 2 and 2 XL, which weirdly enough, lacked dual SIM support.

source: ABI Research

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20 Comments

1. Carbo

Posts: 42; Member since: Aug 07, 2015

"Samsung, Huawei, LG, Xiaomi, and OPPO could soon follow suit (as they always do)" Samsung started using eSIM before Apple, with the Galaxy Gear S2. And btw, Google Pixel 2 has an eSIM version as well.

2. scarface21173

Posts: 689; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

Dont forget the nuu mobile x5 had it august 2017.

7. worldpeace

Posts: 3133; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

False.. Apple invent eSIM this earlier this month.. /s

17. whatev

Posts: 2260; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

Did you all forget that the iPad Pro 9.7 (2016 iPad) had eSim? Or you just erased that moment from your low memory brain? :)))))))

18. Brewski

Posts: 691; Member since: Jun 05, 2012

/s means sarcasm. You just got trolled by yourself.

19. whatev

Posts: 2260; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

I understood his sarcasm, what does that have to do with me being trolled by myself? I believe you must be an Indian troll who doesn’t understand much about anything ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

3. painnpanic

Posts: 34; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

So Google and Samsung did it first but Apple didn't follow? What about the prepaid phones? Are they going the same way. This article should be called Apple is following Google and going eSIM. Not everyone is following Apple as you stated in the article. Very biased on how you wrote the story. Use correct information.

4. TheOracle1

Posts: 2260; Member since: May 04, 2015

What he should have said is that with the adoption by Apple it'll become more mainstream. That's certainly undeniable. But Apple are just copying as usual and PA (and Piyath, Leo, Kiko, Apple rulz etc) can never bring themselves to admit that so some word juggling is needed. This "innovative breakthrough" will be promoted by the sheep as evidence that Apple is cutting edge. NOT!

16. drunkenjay

Posts: 1670; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

it was actually mainstream overseas such as korea. they adopted the sim method due to the convenience.

20. TheOracle1

Posts: 2260; Member since: May 04, 2015

Yep. I was referring to the US.

15. sissy246

Posts: 7111; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Yep Didn't even have to look to know who wrote this. NEWS FLASH, APPLE DIDN'T DO IT FIRST.

5. drunkenjay

Posts: 1670; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

ins't this the same thing as sim free phones that was introduced decades ago?

6. phljcnth

Posts: 556; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

"but companies like Samsung, Huawei, LG, Xiaomi, and OPPO could soon follow suit (as they always do)" Wow. Is this really what PhoneArena has become?

8. baldilocks

Posts: 1505; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

Unfortunately. Over the past 10+ years I have been coming here, it's evolved from a tech phone website, to a fluff, pro-Apple advertisement.

9. Sakeem

Posts: 857; Member since: Sep 05, 2012

I really refrain from calling some of the writers on this site biased towards Apple. I thought a lot of the time, personal opinion leaks into an article where it should remain neutral. However, this article.........you seem to be speaking out of both sides of your mouth.

11. middlehead

Posts: 456; Member since: May 12, 2014

They're talking out the sides because Tim Cook's dick is in the middle.

10. Marcwand3l

Posts: 432; Member since: May 08, 2017

Wow so Apple does something that others did before them and it's revolutionary. Apple releases a feature that is not universally supported and doesn't work for every costumer and it's a transformative technology. The 100$ Xioami phone has 2 physical sim slots and it supports dual SIM functionality with any carrier. Who cares no??

12. Mikele

Posts: 152; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

Absolutely this site isn't Tech site I'm going out of here for Gsmarena!!!

13. Quicksword_Phantom

Posts: 180; Member since: Jun 15, 2015

Just rename the site Apple-Arena already. The shilling is pathetic and obvious.

14. D34ever

Posts: 228; Member since: Jul 14, 2018

As an Android user, I thank you, Apple! Now, the Android OEMs will be sure to follow. This is a very consumer friendly feature.

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