Apple introduces new, upgraded iPhone models every year and continuously invests in new tech to give iPhone users a better, improved experience with each new release. As we step into 2022, the Cupertino-based smartphone manufacturer has another new feature for its wide customer base to explore – the eSIM – and there’s already a lot of buzz around it.
If you’re planning to serve yourself a new iPhone 13 this year, take a look at its specs, and you’ll find out that it comes with a smaller, built-in eSIM. Don’t know yet what is an eSIM? Let’s explore and try to find out what it means for you – the iPhone users – in 2022 and beyond.
What Is An eSim?
An eSIM is a programmable, digital SIM card that is directly embedded into a device’s motherboard. It’s a digital alternative to traditional SIM cards that allows you to use your cellular plan without a physical nano-SIM.
As of now, the eSIM service isn’t available everywhere in the world and, therefore, the physical SIM card slot will still be available to iPhone users in some markets. Nevertheless, it is being adopted at a rapid pace today and more than 100 carriers already offer eSIM service globally. Many more will roll out eSIM support quite likely in 2022.
eSIM vs Physical SIM – A Quick Comparison
So how do eSIM cards and traditional SIMs compare with each other? The two have their similarities and differences, and here we have detailed the pros and cons of each to help you understand which of the two options is better suited to your needs.
How The Two Are Similar?
Yes, you might be surprised to know that, but an eSIM is similar to a traditional SIM card in many ways. Let’s see what makes them similar.
- Both the SIM cards connect your handset to your mobile carrier’s network
- You may be able to use both the SIM types in different types of devices other than phones
- They can both identify your device and the plan type in use
- You can use both of them simultaneously in your dual-SIM phone
- Technically, they are both SIM cards
What Sets Them Apart?
Both the SIM types have their merits and demerits. Let’s quickly review the pros and cons of each type of SIM card.
eSIM – Pros
- An eSIM can be used simultaneously with a physical SIM
- It can’t be lost or damaged
- Due to its small size, it can fit inside wearable tech like watches
- An eSIM may store several cellular profiles
- Network providers can locate it easily
- It’s never easy to hack
eSIM – Cons
- You can’t use an eSIM with an older phone
- You can’t use your eSIM if you switch phones
Physical SIM – Pros
- Widely accepted technology used by almost all major data carriers
- It is removable, and you can swap your physical SIM into another phone as needed
- You can upgrade a physical SIM if the chip is outdated or you need to change your plan
- Prepaid SIM is more accessible
Physical SIM – Cons
- A physical SIM can be hacked, making your sensitive information vulnerable
- It has a limited memory capacity
- It’s heavily reliant on apps
- May not work well in remote areas with inadequate coverage
- It can wear out and get damaged over time
Should I Go For A New Smartphone With eSIM Support?
Now that you know the pros and cons of both types of SIM cards, the question is should you buy a new smartphone with eSIM support in 2022 or continue using your handset with a physical SIM card?
Well, if you have to travel a lot – whether for vacations or business reasons – eSIM is the way to go. It will offer reliable coverage no matter where you are in the world. Besides, this new tech is certainly the future, and more and more carriers will adopt it moving forward.
With an eSIM, you can expect:
- Reliable coverage worldwide
- Flexibility with the data plans
- Consistent internet connectivity
- Easy swapping between your SIM cards
- Affordable rates, and much more
What If You’re An iPhone User?
For iPhone users, eSIMs seem to be the future. Apple already offers dual-SIM support in iPhone XS and later, where users can use an eSIM and a physical Nano-SIM card simultaneously on their devices. What’s interesting, however, is that we already have rumors claiming Apple is planning to ditch the physical SIM card slot in iPhone 15 Pro devices, at least in some regions and countries. There are also claims that all the major carriers in the US have been advised to do necessary preparations for eSIM-only smartphones latest by September 2022.
With Apple Stores already selling iPhone 13 handsets without a nano-SIM card in the package, some US carriers are also expected to adopt the practice for select iPhone 13 models by mid-2022.
If the September 2022 timeline is legit, it’s quite possible that some of the iPhone 14 models will also come without a physical SIM card slot. Nothing can be said for sure as of now, however. But it is highly likely that at some point in coming years, Apple will completely ditch the physical SIM card slot in the iPhones, leaving users no other option but to use an eSIM.
Both eSIm and Physical SIM cards are in use today across all the different handsets from the top smartphone manufacturers. However, if you want to stick to iPhones, you can get many iPhone models that use an eSIM and a physical nano-SIM in the same device. While not all the iPhones available today use an eSIM, the new tech will certainly become mainstream in the future, and the rumors are already in the air that Apple plans to ditch the physical SIM card slots in its iPhones in the next couple of years. So, iPhone users should get used to the new tech on an iPhone X or later – all these handsets support an eSIM – get ready for the eSIM-only iPhones in the future.