SIM cards. They connect our smartphones and phone numbers to a network, allowing us to make calls, texts, and more. But those little chips have been around for a long time and have gotten smaller and smaller over the years. Now many devices just use embedded versions of SIM cards, dubbed eSIM.
These eSIM aren’t exactly new, but they’re becoming more commonplace, as you can find them on just about every connected Android smartwatch, and there’s growing support for eSIM on Android phones. In fact, many devices can support both a physical SIM and eSIM.
However, with the iPhone 14, things are starting to change as Apple begins making eSIM the only option for buyers in the United States. And once apple starts adopting a change like this, it only seems like a matter of time before other OEMs start doing the same. But do you think this is a good move for smartphone OEMs?
Carriers tout the benefits of eSIM, such as quicker activation, more accessible travel, and the security of not having a physical SIM that can be removed from your phone if it’s ever lost. However, some users have found the technology to be more trouble than its worth.
Android Centrals Andrew Myrick detailed his experience trying to get his primary phone number on the new iPhone 14 Pro Max, and suffice it to say, it wasn’t pretty. Unfortunately, the process left him with roughly 24 hours without service on the device as he attempted to activate the number using the steps provided by Verizon.
Despite dealing with eSIM on smartwatches, carriers don’t seem to be on the same page when it comes to eSIM on smartphones. Just a cursory glance at Apple’s support page (opens in new tab) shows how there are a few different activation and transfer methods, and carriers may not support all of them.
That said, regardless of how you feel about it now, eSIM seems to be the inevitable future for smartphones.