The physical SIM card’s days may be numbered in the US
This week, the tech world turned its attention to Apple as it announced the latest entries for its smartwatch lineup and — of course — the iPhone. While the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro are largely iterative updates, one big change is coming for US buyers: the physical SIM tray is gone. It’s a change that’ll only affect Apple customers for now — a small portion of the audience currently reading this site — but it’s likely just a matter of time before more manufacturers start to follow suit.
Based on our comments section, it’s clear that eSIM is a controversial tool. Some people couldn’t be more excited to ditch physical SIM cards and trays. Others are looking at it with a much more critical, even cynical, eye, remembering the days of CDMA and other carrier restrictions that made it difficult — if not outright impossible — to jump between networks. In theory, eSIM won’t operate like that, although it’s hard to trust any of the big three in the US. Travelers also seem worried, as not every country currently supports eSIM. The same goes for MVNOs in the US — your favorite cheap network might not connect to the iPhone 14 right out of the gate.
For Android Police readers, it’s probably great news that it is Apple taking the lead on this one. If Android OEMs are destined to follow its lead — and again, I do think we’ll move to an eSIM-only world over the next several years — it’s Apple customers who have to deal with these headaches right now. If you’re eagerly awaiting the Pixel 7, next year’s Galaxy S23, or you’re just shopping for a new Android phone already on the market, you don’t need to stress about physical SIM cards right now.
That said, I’m curious how many have actually used eSIM, either currently or in the past, and what their experience was with it. I’ve only used it once when setting up my partner’s phone for a summer trip to Canada. A data-only eSIM was perfect, allowing for data while traveling without charging an arm and a leg for it. It was a good experience — although admittedly on an iPhone — but I still have my concerns about the platform as a whole.
So, have you used eSIM, or are you using it right now? What did you think? For this poll, I’m keeping things simple: select whether you’ve used eSIM and whether your overall experience was good or bad. I understand that not everyone’s answer might be so cut and dry, so feel free to elaborate in the comments, even if you were simply indifferent.