Apple ditched the SIM tray in the iPhone 14
While Apple’s new iPhone 14 boasts an improved camera and satellite connectivity, one important thing has been removed in the US – the physical SIM tray.
Apple called it a win for consumers as the digital eSIM replacement will support multiple cellular plans, phone numbers and is claimed to be better in terms of security. This shouldn’t be too much of a concern for those with long-term phone contracts, but for those who buy phones outright and like to switch between physical SIM-only flexible plans, it’s a huge loss.
This is especially problematic for those traveling abroad as not all eSIM carriers offer competitive plans internationally. It can also make it harder to swap out the SIM card for another phone if you lose or break your iPhone.
Of course, eSIM has some advantages. If you are upgrading from 4G to 5G, you do not need to order a new new SIM card. It will also mean shorter waiting times to get and start a new cell number – previously you had to wait for a SIM card to be mailed.
Apple has only confirmed this feature for North America, so we don’t know if it will continue to roll out to future iPhone models worldwide. If this happens, it could be a big change for mobile carriers, as an eSIM allows you to select a data plan using the iPhone software instead of going to a store. Apple confirmed in its presentation that AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and others will support the new Apple eSIM.
This can be beneficial for consumers if the process allows for easy switching between carriers, but in reality if iPhones in the US are purchased under contract then there will be no switching and this could mean consumers are less likely to try switching providers after they will end their plan to get a better deal if they don’t understand how eSIMs work. Whatever Apple says, removing a SIM card and inserting a new one is easier than an eSIM.
An iPhone must also be activated by a carrier if purchased on a data plan, so the eSIM-only approach may ultimately only benefit those who buy their unlocked iPhones directly from Apple.
You can learn more about the specs for the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models and read about Apple’s new Power Saving Mode coming to the Apple Watch starting with Series 4, though the company also announced the Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch SE. 2 and Apple Watch Ultra, as well as AirPods Pro 2.