Apple Will Soon Make The SIM Card Obsolete


The e-SIM in the new Series 3 Apple Watch is just the beginning

While people are still entranced with Apple’s recent phone announcements last night, one piece of tech that the company unveiled earlier has the potential of drastically changing how we use our phones in the future. No, we’re not talking about the new OLED display of the iPhone X, nor the fancy FaceID tech – we’re talking about the eSIM tech that’s in their new Series 3 Apple Watch. 

Because of the space constraints in the watch, Apple had to find a creative way to enable cellular connectivity without using a nano SIM. As small as a nano SIM is, it still takes up a large chunk of space inside a device where space at a premium, so Apple just decided to solder an eSIM inside and call it a day. 

eSIMs provide the same functionality as regular SIM cards, and then some. Customers can simply contact the carrier of their choice and have their devices provisioned and a number issued to them, with no hassle. Customers can also seamlessly switch carriers when needed, even when abroad – which means you no longer have to scramble for a SIM ejector (or repurpose an earring) whenever you need to use a new SIM. No more fiddling with an archaic piece of plastic.

We’ve seen eSIMs in action before – international mobile internet provider Skyroam uses eSIM technology already, and we used it to good effect when we were in Hong Kong and China last year. While the space saved by eliminating physical SIM cards may not look like much in a phone for an example, utilizing eSIMs would be more of a convenience thing – why fiddle with a piece of plastic when your carrier can just provision your new line whenever you ask them to?

Right now eSIMs are getting more use with small, IoT devices like smartwatches and other smaller devices that need internet connectivity, but it won’t be long until our phones use the tech. And we’ll all be better for it.

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