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  • Writer's pictureAngus Stewart

Less is less

Anyone buying a new phone after having kept an old one for a while will probably be faced with the problem of ever decreasing SIM card size. From 'normal' to micro to nano - the cards are reducing in size all the time. What's next? Well, disapearing altogether looks to be the answer - the era of the eSIM is fast approaching.

I am sometimes asked about SIM cards and whether all the numbers stored on them will be transfered to a new phone. However, the days of SIM cards holding any information other than the telephone number of the device are long gone. Smartphones killed off this function, as they were able to store all the information previously held on the SIM - and a vast amount more - on the phone and in the cloud, whether iCloud or a Google account.

The next move is to kill of the SIM as a physical item altogether - the eSIM will be a chip in the phone which can be programmed with carrier information as required. A major advantage of this is the ability to reprogram the eSIM with new information such as a different network operator or just a new number very easily.

There will, no doubt be those who bemoan the death of the physical SIM. What will dodgy criminal types do to stop their phones being used to track them? They can't take out the SIM and put in a new one - as they do in the movies - they will need to throw away the phone. (Spoiler - this is mostly nonsense anyway)

Apple and Android phone manufacturers have actually been including eSIM capability in their phones for a while, but no-one, until now has threatened to do away with the physical SIM altogether. Who is leading this charge towards the new era - why Apple of course. The company known for getting rid of things such as USB ports, headphone sockets and replaceable memory, to name but a few, are rumored to be at it again. If it's not tied down they'll throw it away.

As Adrian Kingsley-Hughes writes on ZDNet;

"It makes perfect sense for Apple to make a move from SIM to eSIM. Fewer ports, fewer components, fewer moving parts, and fewer holes for water and schmoo to get into the iPhone . Unlimitedly, it all means a cheaper-to-build iPhone with fewer parts to support under warranty. Which is exactly the sort of iPhone that Apple wants to make."

Nuff said.


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