eSIM: What is It, and How Can it Change Smartphone Tech?
One of the first pieces of tech to use eSIM is the Apple Watch version 3. Basically, eSIM allows users to turn their smartwatches into smartphones, going so far as to share the phone number between devices for classic Apple simplicity.
But what exactly is an eSIM and how does it differ from regular SIM cards that we already use? We'll explain all of this in detail below.
What's Up With eSIM?
An eSIM, unlike the SIM cards consumers use now, is electronic rather than physical. This means that an eSIM is designed to replace the tiny plastic card with one that is embedded virtually into the smartphone. The Samsung Gear S2 3G was the first known device to use this hardware, back in 2016. However, the Apple Watch 3 gives users mobile internet capabilities and will probably be the flagship that takes eSIM technology mainstream.
A prime factor in the choice of an eSIM is its size, being many times smaller than the already tiny nanoSIMs seen in many of today's devices. This convenient size is what makes the eSIM ideal for very compact tech such as smartwatches, which cannot handle current SIM card size requirements. With an eSIM, a host of convenient options becomes standard for cutting-edge technology across the board.
eSIM cards will be permanent fixtures of the device's internal components—there will be no risk of compromising neighboring components since eSIMs eliminate the need for removal, which exposes the shell to moisture. The theory behind this new hardware is that users will be able to switch between various operators without having to first insert a particular SIM card.
Users can operate their Apple 3 watch regardless of whether their carrier is Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon. Currently, EE is the only operator providing the Apple Watch 3 to users in the UK.
As we touched on briefly, the eSIM is able to share the number connected to your iPhone. Essentially, users can consider them both part of one connection. However, it's worth noting that this means the eSIM will only work with an iPhone and users will need to have both the phone and watch on the same provider network.
What's Next For eSIMs?
In short, there's a bright future ahead for eSIM technology, one that involves much more than smartwatches. Some tech experts are already predicting that we'll see eSIMs in all phone models at some point.
The GSMA, a representative for mobile operators worldwide, set forth a new standard for eSIMs. Many providers such as AT&T, Orange, Hutchison, Whampoa, Deutsche Telekom and more are already on board with the new ideas.
The plan is to make network data rewritable in the future and allow eSIMS to take advantage of that. Basically, a user would only need to place a phone call when he or she wants to change operators.
eSIMs will also provide various benefits to those who travel often. It should be much easier to make the move to local networks if you know you'll spend a lot of time in one region. Anyone who travels outside the EU will be overjoyed as roaming charges tend to be quite heavy.
One issue constantly discussed with regard to the physical cards is that there is no standard size. Instead, you may be dealing with SIMs of different sizes with no way of knowing until you actually want to open it up to make the switch.
Is Apple SIM the Precursor to eSIM?
Some time ago, Apple gave users a glimpse as to what might be involved in eSIM integration.
Apple's 4G-capable iPads use what the company calls Apple SIM. This SIM is software-based, thus offering users the freedom to switch between operators at a moment's notice.
The only problem is, such convenience is only available in select countries for now. We have access to the eSIM technology we need already; now we just need the disparate networks and manufacturers to work cooperatively.
Which is where those new GSMA standards for the eSIM tech come into play. It now appears that these standards are gaining some traction thanks to the successful launch of Apple's newest watch, which is happy news for all gadget fans.
In Summation: eSIM is About Smaller Phones
Users should note that the Apple Watch 3 is merely the starting point for eSIM. The ultimate potential of this new technology won't be realized until the public can see the first ever eSIM handset. This new device will probably be more compact than anything that's come before it.
In the field of smartphones, people usually equate smaller with better. Apple will certainly take some credit for being at the forefront of this new change in smartphone tech since the company has gained more exposure than its rival.
Because the physical cards we use now are mostly a waste of plastic, eSIM promises to free up quite a bit of space inside newer phones. This free space gives manufacturers a way to reduce the overall width of their phones.
Users understand that space is a premium concern when it comes to smartphones; everything must be smaller, fit perfectly, and perform well.
If the eSIM does well in the Apple Watch 3, the company may decide that their 2018 smartphone needs to be the first one to have new eSIM tech. If not, there's a chance that Samsung will jump on it with their Galaxy S9 model.
Wirefly Is America's Most Trusted Source For All Cell Phones, Plans, TV, and Internet Deals
Wirefly offers great deals on a large selection of smartphones, cell phones, tablets, mobile hotspots, and other wireless devices for the nation's most popular carriers. Use Wirefly’s innovative cell phone and plan comparison tools to ensure you are getting the best deal on the market. Shop with confidence knowing that Wirefly wants to help you find the best prices on cell phones, cell phone plans, TV, and Internet service.