Plastic SIM is Dead, Long Live the eSIM

Ever since Apple first launched the eSIM in iPads back in 2015 the future of the plastic SIM was clear; the end of the road was coming. Like punch cards and floppy disks before it, the plastic SIM has been surpassed by a superior technology – the eSIM. 

eSIMs enable users to download operator profiles directly to the phone without needing to insert a plastic SIM or do things like go to a store to get a SIM card. The ability to remotely install an eSIM profile also allows users to purchase mobile service from more than one operator or buy a plan from a local company when traveling internationally. No need to keep two phones if you have a business and personal line, just use the eSIM. 

Until the announcement of the iPhone 13 series, the limitation of the eSIM was that you could only have one active profile on the plastic SIM and one on the eSIM. This meant that if you wanted to use the eSIM to get cheap roaming deals, you needed to have a plastic SIM for your home service or you’d lose the connection completely. The iPhone 13 changes that. Now you can have two eSIM profiles active at the same time. For iPhone 13s purchased from Apple, they are not going to include an operator SIM; you’ll just download the eSIM profile from your operator when you get the phone and you’re set to go. 

This is a huge step forward that will advance the adoption of eSIM and, very importantly, make regular users more aware that the eSIM even exists in their phone. I suspect that we’re only 2 iPhone generations away from seeing a phone that doesn’t even have a plastic SIM slot. Apple has been pushing this for several years as a way to make the phones thinner, lighter, more waterproof and more flexible. The SIM tray and associated connection points take up nearly 20% of the space inside an iPhone. Just imagine what the Apple designers could do with all that extra space. 

You can learn more about Apple’s dual eSIM announcement for the iPhone 13 in this 9to5Mac article:

For enterprises this is a step closer to digitizing the telecom stack where inventory is no longer the pile of SIMs lying in the office cupboard. We have written on how ​​eSIM enables enterprises to achieve cost quality balance. See eSIMs change everything and eSIM for Enterprise – Why eSIM and BYOD are made for each other.

If you’d like to discuss anything about phones, plans, eSIM or telecom invoice management, drop us a line at and one of our experts will get in touch with you.

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