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Your eSIM iPhone 14 has a chunk of plastic where its SIM tray should be

iPhone 14 Pro Max opened
(Image credit: iFixit)

Apple's iPhone 14 Pro has a chunk of plastic where its SIM tray should be, at least in the United States. Those buying an iPhone 14-series model internationally get to use their SIM card as before.

Those in the U.S. have to deal with an eSIM, however, and while Apple hasn't put a SIM card tray on the outside of its iPhone 14 models, we now know what it did with the inside thanks to a new iFixit teardown of an iPhone 14 Pro Max.

As you can see in the iFixit video embedded above, Apple apparently took the decision not to rework the internals too much and instead went a different route — there's a plastic spacer where the SIM card tray should be, presumably helping keep everything rigid. "The plastic spacer is roughly the same size as a 2×2 Lego brick and weighs half a gram," iFixit says.

Unfortunately, while the iPhone 14 opens from the back and makes it easier to replace a broken back glass, that isn't something the new iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max gets to benefit from. Instead, they continue to open from the front and require the entire iPhone to be taken apart just to replace a broken back panel. It isn't clear why Apple went this route, but we can hope a future iteration of the Pro models gives us something a little more repairable.

Apple's move to eSIM in the United States has already proven controversial, although reports of problems converting physical SIMs to eSIMs have been few and far between. It isn't yet known when we can expect Apple to switch its international iPhones to eSIM-only, but it's going to require that carriers support it first. Given the number of carriers across the globe, that could take some time.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

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.