E-sims allow Smartphones to have more Real Estate for Innovation

Smartphone manufacturers are in pursuit to stack in as many features as possible and increase the features that users like the most. To achieve this feat, the smartphone manufacturers are in making constant efforts to reduce the size of the components so that there is more real estate on the device for the innovations.

Money is power and there only a few companies that control so much power that they can influence the major decision-making process in a particular industry. PetroChina was the first ever company in the world to reach the $1 trillion mark, however, Apple became the first ever tech giant to summit the $1 trillion valuation and currently, it is the only one in the world. The company known for its superior quality devices launched 3 new smartphone models along with a few accessories in September. The new models support a new technology called the e-sim or embedded sim. This technology, as of now, is supported only in 9 countries namely Austria, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, India, Spain, the UK, and the US. In the US, companies such as T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T support the e-sim service, whereas, Reliance Jio and Airtel are the two service providers that support this technology in India.

There are mainly 4 kinds of sim cards in the world namely, Mini Sim, Micro Sim, Nano Sim and the latest of all E-Sim/embedded sim. The latest e-sim cards are based on M2M form factor. It needs to be considered that just reducing the size of a sim card does not reduce much of the space taken. Even a nano sim takes up significant space due to the additional sim card tray and ejection mechanism with the spring. However, if the whole mechanism is removed and the sim is put on the chipset itself, only then will space be significantly reduced. The process of activating a sim card will become simplified as the user would not be required to swap the sim or wait for the connection. Everything can be done by just downloading the carrier’s specific app and log in from the device. E-sim can even be activated by scanning a QR code given by the service provider.

There are numerous benefits of the new technology such as its use in smart wearables. Embedded sims can help the wearables stay connected to the internet without the need of a smartphone. Since this technology is in a nascent stage, the adoption rate is very low across the world.

In addition to the e-sim support, Apple has launched dual sim support smartphones for the first time. The XS and XS Max models will come with dual sim capabilities. For the Chinese market, the two models will have a physical sim tray that will hold two physical sim cards, whereas, for other markets, it will only have e-sim support. Countries such as India, the Philippines and China have over 90% smartphones, which are dual sim supported. This has been a big motivation for the company to launch dual sim support iPhones in these countries. These countries are also some of the largest markets for Apple.

It has received a mixed reaction from people as many people are in favour of the idea and some are against the new technology. This was the case with Apple devices when it launched its X models with the notch. Many people liked it and others did not but since it came from the house of Apple, manufacturers all over the world got hold of the feature and applied it to their devices. The success of e-sim depends on its progress in the Indian market because India is the second largest smartphone market in the world. China, the largest smartphone market has still not given the green signal to this technology and hence, will be using the dual physical sim supported models as of now.

– Soumya De

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