new iPhone 14 line Comes without physical SIM trays – but in the US only. They’ll be able to use two eSIMs simultaneously (and store more), but is the lack of a physical tray a big deal? That’s it User is hostile and stupid?
First, an update to eSIMs: they’re SIM cards, but they’re electronic, not physical. This means your phone can be provisioned remotely – you won’t be going to the store to buy a physical SIM card. Makes it easier (in some ways) to switch networks or try one – T-Mobile now uses eSIMs Let people test your network for up to three months. Starting with iOS 16, you can even Transfer eSIM between iPhones via Bluetooth, which makes it almost as easy as a physical SIM card, as long as you reside within the Apple ecosystem. naturally.
most important US carriers and many companies around the world have eSIM supportAnd the iPhones support them since 2018Including the possibility of using two SIMs simultaneously. Until iPhone 13, this meant an eSIM and a physical SIM card; The iPhone 13 family introduced the ability to use two eSIM cards at the same time. Removing the physical SIM card – and the hole in case you need it – is the next logical step. At least for Apple, and at least in the US – the iPhone 14 still has a SIM tray elsewhere.
If you’re on a major US cellular network — AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile — not having a physical SIM card probably won’t affect you much. Even if you change operator or phone, you can download the eSIM directly from verizonAnd the ATTWhere moving tee without going to the store.
But if you’re on a carrier that doesn’t support eSIM or are planning to switch, well, you shouldn’t buy an iPhone 14 just yet. You may not have to wait long; This could be the payment small operators need to join eSIMs.
(Outside the US, the iPhone 14 lineup still includes nano-SIM slots.)
At the launch event, Apple spokespersons said On the edge The iPhone 14 and 14 Pro can store a minimum of eight eSIMS, with up to two active simultaneously. Airalo, global eSIM distributor, says previous iPhones can retain Five to 10, depending on the model. This can eliminate the loss of the physical SIM card tray, although not all international carriers support eSIMs. (I haven’t used Airalo and can’t vouch for it, but the ability to remotely provide a local eSIM when traveling abroad can make it easier to find a local SIM card.)
The ability to have more than one active SIM card is great for frequent travelers, people who live in areas with patchy coverage from any network, or people with separate work and home numbers. I bought my iPhone 11 when I was living in the Netherlands and it has a Dutch eSIM and a physical Verizon SIM card. This means I can use a local SIM card, whether in Europe or the US, without losing access to my other number or having to change iMessage or WhatsApp settings.
Physical SIM cards make it easy to transfer your phone to another carrier or transfer your number to a new phone. It’s ubiquitous, works on all phones, and is easy to use (but also easy to lose; ask me how I know). Many of my colleagues are not happy about the loss of their SIM card slot. Transferring an eSIM from an iPhone to an Android phone is not necessarily easy.
I don’t think removing the SIM tray is necessarily user-unfriendly for most people; Most people don’t change carriers or phones every few weeks. But it depends on how easily the providers install and migrate the eSIM between platforms. We’ll see how it goes.
Updated September 7, 4:45 p.m. ET: Added eSIM support information.
Fix for September 8, 12:06 p.m. ET: The original text of this article misspelled the eSIM retail company Airalo. We are sorry for the error.
Correction of September 10 at 9:26 p.m.: An earlier version of this article mentioned that the iPhone 14 can store up to six eSIMs; The 14 and 14 Pro models can store at least eight.