'iPhone 14' may have eSIM-only option, but it won't be universal

Posted:
in iPhone
A new analyst report claims that Apple will offer the "iPhone 14" in both SIM and eSIM-only variants, though the speculation has no apparent evidence as yet.




Apple added eSIM support in 2018, letting iPhone owners use two cell phone plans on one device. It's been rumored since that at some point Apple will move solely to using eSIM, perhaps with the iPhone 15.

Now GlobalData analyst Emma Mohr-McClune claims that the move will happen with the forthcoming "iPhone 14" range - but only partly. Mohr-McClune believes that two variations of the 2022 iPhone range will be sold, with one using only eSIM.

A SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) is needed for a user to use a cell phone. But an eSIM would mean an iPhone buyer being able to choose a phone contract without buying a carrier's physical nano-SIM card.

"An eSIM-only iPhone was always a question of 'when,', not 'if,'" writes Mohr-McClune in a letter sent to AppleInsider, "but, so far, there has been insufficient consideration as to 'how.'"

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

Mohr-McClune believes that "telecom companies will be given the choice" of stocking eSIM-only or physical SIM models.

"Further, we think it's likely that the primary focus of this theoretical eSIM-only iPhone will be the Apple channel," continues Mohr-McClune, "and that, by launch, Apple will provide this model with 'wireless data connectivity inside' together with one or more connectivity partners."

GlobalData's Mohr-McClune cautions that "Telcos need to prepare carefully for such an eventuality." She says that there needs to be "general marketing and support readiness," for the cell phone carriers.

However, Mohr-McClune's full letter does not address what preparations Apple would have to do to sell two different variations of the next iPhone. As well as having to convey to users the benefits, the company would also likely face a volume of returns as SIM owners inadvertently buy eSIM-only iPhones.

Even with procedures in place to prevent this, and marketing to help avoid it, Apple would be faced with at least maintaining two different stocks. Instead of offering the expected four distinct "iPhone 14" models, it would be manufacturing anywhere up to eight different editions.

Previous rumors have claimed Apple will eventually move to eSIM-only.

I am in agreement with recent rumors regarding the removal of the physical SIM card tray. In February, I had shared the following information below: https://t.co/zOyeJr0V1d

-- Dylan (@dylandkt)


However, there is the further issue that not all carriers in all countries support eSIM. Apple maintains a list of countries and carriers that do.

That said, international buyers have already been getting a different variant of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 ranges. That's because only US iPhones support mmWave 5G.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    I have no desire to go back to the bad old days of having to call support just to change phones.  eSIM is stupid.

    (I remember when US Cellular used to charge $25 every time you got a new phone, for the 'service' of typing in a new MEID.)
    williamlondon
  • Reply 2 of 18
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    Since a SIM phone has e-SIM why would I buy an e-SIM only phone?  
    What's in it for me?   Is it more durable?   Is it cheaper?
    darkvader
  • Reply 3 of 18
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 430member
    Hopefully it will be possible to have two eSIMs. I just moved my work number onto my iPhone using the eSIM. Two numbers on one phone simplifies things and the interface for doing so is super easy.
    patchythepiratewilliamlondonJaphey
  • Reply 4 of 18
    AF_HittAF_Hitt Posts: 138member
    darkvader said:
    I have no desire to go back to the bad old days of having to call support just to change phones.  eSIM is stupid.

    (I remember when US Cellular used to charge $25 every time you got a new phone, for the 'service' of typing in a new MEID.)
    Fully agree. I just had to go through the nightmare or switching my eSIM around from my 13 Pro Max to a backup phone during repair, and then back to the new Pro Max. What used to be a 5 second process of swapping over a SIM card turned into 2 hours of chat and phone support with T-Mobile EACH TIME that I eventually just spent the $10 for a physical SIM card and transferred my number to that. They claim it’s easy, and have a tab on my account page to change the sim, but the link only ever goes to a support page with a number, never actually letting me do anything. What a nightmare.
    williamlondondarkvader
  • Reply 5 of 18
    So let me understand this: Hardware protections are more secure, but eSIM is future? What if identity is hacked and stolen? After all many of us runs RSA key/code solutions on those phones. We also can change telecom vendor while still use the same hardware for generating codes to get login to work and else. Also did they forget that prepaid providers may not be ready and we prefer shoving physical card for prepaid service in foreign country as it can be cheaper than some telecom programs offered (IF available) in those places? I had used international phone number together with US mobile phone number while travelling many times. In fact I have both numbers, but it requires switching SIM and not playing with some eSIM. If Apple expects me to change my ways... or more adapt their ways then I will never return to iPhone and stick with Android, but many like in my family may just dump iPhones.
    williamlondondarkvader
  • Reply 6 of 18
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,285member
    I believe that there would be two e-sims in the phones.

    still, in those areas where people have numerous sims, such as Europe, where for business and pleasure, people move around a lot, they can have as many as a half dozen sims in a wallet. How this would accommodate that, I can’t imagine, but perhaps Apple has figured it out. Otherwise, this could limit Apple’s sales in a number of areas around the world. So I’m not sure what the rush is all of a sudden.
    muthuk_vanalingamdarkvader
  • Reply 7 of 18
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    AF_Hitt said:
    darkvader said:
    I have no desire to go back to the bad old days of having to call support just to change phones.  eSIM is stupid.

    (I remember when US Cellular used to charge $25 every time you got a new phone, for the 'service' of typing in a new MEID.)
    Fully agree. I just had to go through the nightmare or switching my eSIM around from my 13 Pro Max to a backup phone during repair, and then back to the new Pro Max. What used to be a 5 second process of swapping over a SIM card turned into 2 hours of chat and phone support with T-Mobile EACH TIME that I eventually just spent the $10 for a physical SIM card and transferred my number to that. They claim it’s easy, and have a tab on my account page to change the sim, but the link only ever goes to a support page with a number, never actually letting me do anything. What a nightmare.

    The last time I did that all I did was take the T-Mobile SIM out of my iPhone 6 and stick into my iPhone Xr.
    I wonder if Sprint corrupted them?
    darkvader
  • Reply 8 of 18
    So let me understand this: Hardware protections are more secure, but eSIM is future? What if identity is hacked and stolen? After all many of us runs RSA key/code solutions on those phones. We also can change telecom vendor while still use the same hardware for generating codes to get login to work and else. Also did they forget that prepaid providers may not be ready and we prefer shoving physical card for prepaid service in foreign country as it can be cheaper than some telecom programs offered (IF available) in those places? I had used international phone number together with US mobile phone number while travelling many times. In fact I have both numbers, but it requires switching SIM and not playing with some eSIM. If Apple expects me to change my ways... or more adapt their ways then I will never return to iPhone and stick with Android, but many like in my family may just dump iPhones.
    B'bye, we will not miss you.
  • Reply 9 of 18
    darkvader said:
    I have no desire to go back to the bad old days of having to call support just to change phones.  eSIM is stupid.

    (I remember when US Cellular used to charge $25 every time you got a new phone, for the 'service' of typing in a new MEID.)
    Oh look, Chicken Little felt a pea fall on his head and now he's running around MacRumors-style telling everyone the sky is falling.
  • Reply 10 of 18
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,285member
    So let me understand this: Hardware protections are more secure, but eSIM is future? What if identity is hacked and stolen? After all many of us runs RSA key/code solutions on those phones. We also can change telecom vendor while still use the same hardware for generating codes to get login to work and else. Also did they forget that prepaid providers may not be ready and we prefer shoving physical card for prepaid service in foreign country as it can be cheaper than some telecom programs offered (IF available) in those places? I had used international phone number together with US mobile phone number while travelling many times. In fact I have both numbers, but it requires switching SIM and not playing with some eSIM. If Apple expects me to change my ways... or more adapt their ways then I will never return to iPhone and stick with Android, but many like in my family may just dump iPhones.
    B'bye, we will not miss you.
    But, he’s right. These issues have been brought up elsewhere. You can’t dismiss them as if they don’t matter just because you don’t understand the problem. Not everyone sees unicorns and rainbows everytime Apple does something that might not be perfect.
    GeorgeBMacmuthuk_vanalingamdarkvader
  • Reply 11 of 18
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,285member
    darkvader said:
    I have no desire to go back to the bad old days of having to call support just to change phones.  eSIM is stupid.

    (I remember when US Cellular used to charge $25 every time you got a new phone, for the 'service' of typing in a new MEID.)
    Oh look, Chicken Little felt a pea fall on his head and now he's running around MacRumors-style telling everyone the sky is falling.
    Would you just TRY to be a little more polite about this?
    GeorgeBMacmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 12 of 18
    So let me understand this: Hardware protections are more secure, but eSIM is future? What if identity is hacked and stolen? After all many of us runs RSA key/code solutions on those phones. We also can change telecom vendor while still use the same hardware for generating codes to get login to work and else. Also did they forget that prepaid providers may not be ready and we prefer shoving physical card for prepaid service in foreign country as it can be cheaper than some telecom programs offered (IF available) in those places? I had used international phone number together with US mobile phone number while travelling many times. In fact I have both numbers, but it requires switching SIM and not playing with some eSIM. If Apple expects me to change my ways... or more adapt their ways then I will never return to iPhone and stick with Android, but many like in my family may just dump iPhones.
    Question: would eSIM prevent SIMjacking ??  That could be a good rationale if it does. 
  • Reply 13 of 18
    I transferred my U.S. service from a physical SIM to the eSIM on my iPhone a few years ago, before traveling out of the country to a destination where (nearly?) all phones work from prepaid SIM cards.  When you need to refill, you go to a shop (which might be just a counter in someone’s home) to buy a card with a refill code.  Then you effectively text the code to the cellular carrier and your refill amount gets added to your SIM card.

    There is NO way that you are going find a way to enable an eSIM card in that country.  (Even here in the U.S., it required a visit to the carrier’s store to move my service from the physical SIM card to the eSIM.)  Completely removing the physical SIM from the iPhone would be a huge step backwards, which would make iPhones completely unusable in certain countries.
    williamlondonmuthuk_vanalingamdarkvader
  • Reply 14 of 18
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,878member
    melgross said:
    I believe that there would be two e-sims in the phones.

    still, in those areas where people have numerous sims, such as Europe, where for business and pleasure, people move around a lot, they can have as many as a half dozen sims in a wallet. How this would accommodate that, I can’t imagine, but perhaps Apple has figured it out. Otherwise, this could limit Apple’s sales in a number of areas around the world. So I’m not sure what the rush is all of a sudden.
    eWallet holds all your eSIMs and would switch them by some UI interface. 
    Imagine if Focus was improved to automatically uninstall the work SIM if not on call. 
  • Reply 15 of 18
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,285member
    mattinoz said:
    melgross said:
    I believe that there would be two e-sims in the phones.

    still, in those areas where people have numerous sims, such as Europe, where for business and pleasure, people move around a lot, they can have as many as a half dozen sims in a wallet. How this would accommodate that, I can’t imagine, but perhaps Apple has figured it out. Otherwise, this could limit Apple’s sales in a number of areas around the world. So I’m not sure what the rush is all of a sudden.
    eWallet holds all your eSIMs and would switch them by some UI interface. 
    Imagine if Focus was improved to automatically uninstall the work SIM if not on call. 
    We have to how that would work. As I said, Apple would have to figure this out. It would have to work easily everywhere.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 16 of 18
    [ misfire ]
    edited January 27
  • Reply 17 of 18
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,878member
    melgross said:
    mattinoz said:
    melgross said:
    I believe that there would be two e-sims in the phones.

    still, in those areas where people have numerous sims, such as Europe, where for business and pleasure, people move around a lot, they can have as many as a half dozen sims in a wallet. How this would accommodate that, I can’t imagine, but perhaps Apple has figured it out. Otherwise, this could limit Apple’s sales in a number of areas around the world. So I’m not sure what the rush is all of a sudden.
    eWallet holds all your eSIMs and would switch them by some UI interface. 
    Imagine if Focus was improved to automatically uninstall the work SIM if not on call. 
    We have to how that would work. As I said, Apple would have to figure this out. It would have to work easily everywhere.
    SIM card is same processor as the chip is your credit card and they both do the same job. So just as changing credit card image on your phone switches the profile in NFC. Software switches the profile. 

    Apple have already had carriers adopt the backend needed using the Watch as a carrot next step just pulls a couple of pieces together. 
  • Reply 18 of 18
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,285member
    mattinoz said:
    melgross said:
    mattinoz said:
    melgross said:
    I believe that there would be two e-sims in the phones.

    still, in those areas where people have numerous sims, such as Europe, where for business and pleasure, people move around a lot, they can have as many as a half dozen sims in a wallet. How this would accommodate that, I can’t imagine, but perhaps Apple has figured it out. Otherwise, this could limit Apple’s sales in a number of areas around the world. So I’m not sure what the rush is all of a sudden.
    eWallet holds all your eSIMs and would switch them by some UI interface. 
    Imagine if Focus was improved to automatically uninstall the work SIM if not on call. 
    We have to how that would work. As I said, Apple would have to figure this out. It would have to work easily everywhere.
    SIM card is same processor as the chip is your credit card and they both do the same job. So just as changing credit card image on your phone switches the profile in NFC. Software switches the profile. 

    Apple have already had carriers adopt the backend needed using the Watch as a carrot next step just pulls a couple of pieces together. 
    Yes, and Apple has said there will be, or are, two of them. We don’t know if there’s a technical reason for that, or just a decision as to how many they think people will need, or some argument they’re having with carriers, which, as we remember, didn’t want them at all.
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