Iphone 11 Pro Sim Card HeroSource: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore

What you need to know

  • Apple is rumored to be readying carriers for an eSIM-only iPhone 14.
  • One analyst believes it was only a matter of time before Apple ditched the SIM card tray.
  • It's thought that Apple will still offer a nano SIM option to carriers.

Apple has previously been rumored to have plans to ditch the SIM card tray on its upcoming iPhone 14 models and now an analyst has weighed in on the possibility that Apple could go eSIM-only in 2022.

Emma Mohr-McClune, a Technology Service Director at GlobalData, says that it was only a matter of time until Apple launched an iPhone without a SIM card tray. And while recent rumors have that happening with iPhone 14, Mohr-McClune doesn't expect it to be the only option given to carriers.

Instead, it's thought carriers will also have the option to sell iPhones with the nano SIM intact.

We don't believe that Apple will take the 'big bang' approach—getting rid of existing systems and transferring all users to eSIMs—but rather launch an eSIM-only variant of its upcoming new model—retaining the dual eSIM-plus-physical SIM slot model for the mass market and its key carrier channel.

To that end, we believe telecom companies will be given the choice of whether to stock and sell a new eSIM-only iPhone variation alongside more cellular business-friendly dual eSIM/physical SIM support models.

An eSIM allows people to buy carrier service right on their device and it's the way iPads currently connect to 4G and 5G cellular networks. Apple's iPhone already offer such connectivity but with nano SIM being the primary source of service.

Apple was rumored to have told carriers to expect an eSIM-only iPhone this year with MacRumors getting its hands on a "seemingly legitimate document outlining the timeframe for this initiative." That timeframe was September 2022.

Whether your stance is that the best iPhone is one without any ports, slots, or holes at all, the idea of Apple nudging carriers towards a world where we don't have to put little pieces of plastic into devices is a promising one. If this latest report is accurate and Apple will offer nano SIM iPhone 14 handsets this year, expect that option to go away come iPhone 15 time.