Why is Apple removing the SIM in favor of the eSIM

Apple’s first eSIM-enabled iPhone 14 in the US market is a milestone in customer digitization, but a disaster for unprepared carriers.

For years, industry experts have speculated that Apple could challenge carriers by launching its own cellular plan. Certainly, a single eSIM would be an easier scenario for Apple to roll out to users, perhaps for a specific Apple app or usage scenario, with a cellular partner. This revolution was supposed to happen several years ago, but the leading SIM manufacturers and operators have slowed down – Blackberry in 2013 bought a startup on the subject of the virtual SIM card.

The new eSIM technology is set to become a change agent in telecom, bringing new levels of flexibility to consumers and operators. With an eSIM-enabled device, users benefit from instant connectivity without having to purchase a SIM card separately. Users can simply turn on their devices and download the mobile plan of their choice, allowing them to log in and manage offers right on their phone.

So it will be Apple, which has been working on this development for a long time, that will only release the iPhone 14 eSIM model in the United States. It is a turning point in the mobile carrier industry, essentially marking the beginning of a new era of competition in digital communication. The implications are many and varied, with the eSIM-only smartphone model presenting countless challenges and opportunities for operator differentiation in terms of digital customer experience, setup, roaming, privacy management, security switching and promotional. In addition, telecom marketers will have to completely rethink how they market their 5G networks.

Competitive consequences

For any new disruptive technology, there are both opportunities and threats to carriers, and it will be interesting to see how US airlines rise to the challenge now.

According to GlobalData, for carriers outside the US, the launch of the first eSIM-only iPhone in the US is a clear indication of what will happen to carriers around the world in the near future. US carriers no longer have the luxury of waiting for the eSIM market, they will have to deal with the eSIM-only iPhone 14 whether they like it or not. No doubt some are better prepared than others, but many local and prepaid operators, including small players serving the business world, will face catch-up action.

As eSIM provides carriers and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) a much faster and easier software update path, we could see the launch of ultra-secure mobile service providers for cybersecurity. , able to ensure data privacy and user security at multiple levels, through eSIM integration. Operators that are best prepared for the arrival of eSIM devices only and able to consider not only competitive threats, but also innovation opportunities, will be in the best position to perform well in this new era of digital connectivity competition.


First try before you buy, we may see more eSIM test offers on the market. These are promotions that invite customers of competing networks to “test” the carrier’s network for free, compare the performance of the new network to that of the current provider, and possibly switch to a new offer using an eSIM. from their devices. The current cost-of-living crisis caused by inflation will motivate customers to try out the scenario of using the smartphone as a mobile hotspot instead of fixed broadband or cable for home calling, via the eSIM 5G offering.

This will open up opportunities for local, travel and even professionals, including in applications. A market with small, low-cost, non-committal offers to turn on / off the connection, where and when the user needs it, self-management by application and eSIM within the device will certainly appear.

This new generation of SIM-free users will also learn to manage multiple eSIM profiles on a single device by themselves, making it easier to manage them like personal/business accounts. They can also learn how to respond to QR code promotions to get offers of free calling, in exchange for licensing private data (location, usage, etc.), or even accept offers of digital services in which connectivity is included for free. , via eSIM integration.

The eSIM-only smartphone is an invitation to a lot of creativity in the mobile market.

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