iPhone 14 will be an eSIM 'inflection point,' report claims

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple's new iPhone 14 lineup is going eSIM-only, and one report believes that will be a big deal for the industry as a whole.

According to a Counterpoint Research note, the move to drop a physical SIM card from the iPhone 14 lineup could be a big deal, one that pushes other phone makers to go a similar route for their own devices. When Apple leads, others tend to follow.

Par for the course

Counterpoint notes that "Apple quite simply sets the de facto standard in the industry," adding that there are other examples of that in the past. The report points to Apple's use of dual cameras, portrait cameras, the display notch with FaceID as examples of changes that caught on after Apple made a move.

With the switch to eSIM, Counterpoint expects a repeat performance saying that "Google may have been the first one to launch an eSIM capable smartphone, and Motorola may have launched the world’s first eSIM-only Phone three years before Apple but with this launch, we’ll see an exponential increase in the launch of eSIM in smartphones."

The move away from a physical SIM card means that people no longer have to deal with pieces of plastic when setting up a new iPhone, but some are concerned that the move will limit choice when traveling to international countries. They worry that not being able to put a local SIM card into their iPhone will leave them at the mercy of international roaming charges — although local eSIMs should also be available in those instances.

The switch to eSIM makes sense for customers in a number of ways, not least because it means that there is no physical part to fail. However, the switch is only taking place for customers in the United States right now, with international iPhone 14 models retaining their SIM card tray. That will likely change in the future but, for now at least, those looking to get their hands on Apple's best iPhone to date outside the United States will continue to do battle with nano SIMs.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.