It may soon be gone that you used a paperclip to remove a small SIM card from an iPhone’s tray.
Apple announced that it will no longer use SIM cards or trays for its new iPhone 14 line in the United States at its closely watched press conference this week. Apple is now using eSIMs, a digital alternative.
SIM cards are unique identifiers that enable a cell phone to connect to wireless networks to make and receive calls. An eSIM is an embedded SIM or a card that has been hardwired to the phone. When switching carriers or traveling internationally, people tend to change their SIM cards.
Apple introduced eSIM support for iPhones in 2018 with the promise that it would make it easier for customers activate their cellular plans, and allow them to use multiple phone numbers or carriers for the same device.
Apple is now increasing this feature by completely removing the infrastructure that supports physical SIM cards on its iPhone 14. Kaiann Drance from Apple’s Vice President of iPhone Marketing, stated that eSIM allows you to quickly transfer an existing cell plan or obtain a new one, all digitally, at the event. Drance also highlighted the benefits of eSIM cards for devices, noting that someone can’t take your physical SIM card if your iPhone gets lost or stolen.
The SIM card slot can be removed to make room for bigger batteries and other features. Apple, which is constantly trying to make their devices smaller, doesn’t think this is a small thing. Although the decision to remove the SIM card slot from Apple’s iPhone may not be as controversial as the Apple headphone jack removal, it has already generated some grumblings over social media.
International travelers who travel frequently are used to changing SIM cards at different locations. They may also be used to traveling to countries that don’t support eSIMS. For example, eSIM functionality is not available on the iPhone 14 in mainland China.