The next iPhone 14 is rumored to have an exclusive variant without the physical card module; there may be a model with eSIM instead.
The eSIM is a digital SIM that allows users to activate a cellular plan without having to use a physical nano-SIM card . Apple first introduced eSIM technology with the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR, back in 2018.
IPhone 13 models already support multiple eSIM profiles, allowing users to subscribe to multiple cellular plans digitally and switch between them. This particular feature might have simply been Apple’s plan to pave the way for the eSIM-only variant to debut soon.
Last month, a whistleblower informed MacRumors that Apple had advised major US carriers to prepare for eSIM-only smartphone launches by September 2022, an information which suggests that at least one model of the iPhone 14 series would lack the physical phone card slot.
GlobalData analyst Emma Mohr-McClune expressed her thoughts on the matter by stating that Apple will not immediately switch to eSIM-only iPhones, but rather offer a cardless variant through its stores, and give carriers the ability to sell the exclusive device alongside the traditional models, both with eSIM and with nano-SIM card slots.
“An eSIM-only iPhone was always a question of ‘when’, not ‘if’—but, so far, there has been insufficient consideration as to ‘how’” Mohr-McClune said and added that “Telcos need to prepare carefully for such an eventuality, boosting their own internal eSIM support tools and general marketing and support readiness, as well as improving their own eSIM onboarding and anticipating aggressor eSIM-support ‘test pilot’ promotion, such as the ones we’ve seen recently in the US from T-Mobile and Verizon’s Visible.”
There are still many carriers around the world who don’t support this technology, so Mohr-McClune’s prediction on iPhone 14 models with nano-SIM card slots still available certainly makes sense. The expansion of these cards is moving quite rapidly however, with over 100 providers offering cardless features globally, with more on the way in 2022.