Will The eSIM Go Mainstream After A Debut On The 2018 iPhone?

iphone eSim 2018 debut

The eSIM has been in the news for a long time as an upcoming future technology, but it has failed to catch on yet in a big way. Even after debuting on popular devices like the Google Pixel 2 series smartphones and the Apple Watch Series 3, the technology still doesn’t seem to excite much interest. That said, a change could be coming. There are strong rumours that the 2018 iPhone X successor will support eSIM technology, and where Apple goes, other brands very often follow. We could be seeing eSIMs as standard inclusions after all.

What is an eSIM?

eSIM is an embedded SIM that is installed on the motherboard of the smartphone at the time of manufacturing. The technology was invented with the disadvantages of physical SIM cards in mind. eSIM technology allows the manufacturers to avoid having to set aside significant amounts of space for a physical SIM card and its accompanying tray.

Currently the smallest SIM card available in the market is the NANO card that is 12.30 mm in length and 8.80 mm wide. On the other hand, the eSIM chip is only 6 mm in length and 5 mm wide. For smartphone manufacturers that have been scrambling for space by removing features like the 3.5 mm audio jack, this is just another opportunity to shrink the size of their devices even further, or increase the size of essentials such as batteries.

But what can the 2018 iPhone do that the 2017 Pixel couldn’t?

The Pixel failed to make a noticeable difference to the market even though they included an eSIM. So why would the iPhone change the market where other models have failed to make an impact? The iPhone isn’t necessarily a superior device to the Pixel. However, Apple have traditionally had a reputation for leading the pack when it comes to innovation. The Apple iPhone has been ‘first’ multiple times in the industry.

Some of the new technology has been well received, and sometimes the innovation is met with a less favourable reception from the public. The iPhone 7 was the first modern smartphone to get rid of the 3.5 mm jack. This was followed by all modern smartphones boycotting the audio port (except for Samsung) in a bid to make their smartphones seem more modern.

The trend will almost certainly follow the usual pattern once Apple adopts the eSIM. But while some innovation was less favourably received, the eSIM’s advantages certainly outweigh the disadvantages.

Advantages of the eSIM technology:

Apple might have been the reason behind the absence of a 3.5 mm jack and the inclusion of a notch on the most recent smartphone models. However, if the trend of companies following the lead of Apple continues with the eSIM, it will have very positive outcomes for customers. There are more than a few reasons that the eSIM will make a updating to a new smartphone even more desirable:

  • Smartphone size:
    The eSIM will allow the smartphone manufacturers to make their devices more compact.
  • Waterproofing:
    Since the eSIMs do not need an external port, it might make even the most budget smartphones waterproof.
  • Bigger Battery:
    The compact eSIM chip might even lead to some manufacturers making larger batteries.
  • Sharing A Phone Number With Multiple Devices:
    The eSIM has made its way to Samsung Galaxy Watch and the Apple Watch Series 3. You can have the same number for both your smartphone and wearables so you never have to miss a call on your jog again.
  • Change Carriers On The Go:
    With eSIMs, you will no longer require to visit your telco to change your carrier. Simply download the e-settings and change your carriers on the go. This is particularly helpful if you are a frequent traveller.
  • Power The IoT:
    The embedded SIM technology goes beyond smartphones. It can allow the IoT devices to function without sourcing their network via a WiFi connection.

eSIM technology will offer its customers numerous benefits, and will probably be included in one of the most sought-after devices on the planet. The last piece of the puzzle is the telecommunications companies supporting eSIM on their networks. Once that happens, eSIM might be the way of the future after all.

Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.