After two separate reports indicated that Apple is working on it iPhone models that do not require a physical SIM card, a leaker offers further insight into the matter. The leaker made similar claims much earlier this year, long before the iPhone 13 start. When Apple will release an iPhone without a physical SIM card slot is still unclear. In the previous reports, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 were named as potential versions that will not have a SIM card slot. One of those reports also said Apple and its cellular partners could sell iPhone 13 options that buyers can activate through a digital eSIM. They have a SIM card slot, but they don’t ship to buyers with nano SIMs in their packaging.
Why removing the iPhone SIM card slot makes sense
we explained the other day why removing the iPhone’s physical SIM card slot is inevitable. Apple is trying to eliminate all ports and buttons from the iPhone. This “perfect” iPhone design would enable Apple to offer buyers a waterproof device that isn’t just waterproof. Without an entry point in a perfectly sealed housing, the iPhone would withstand accidents with liquids even better than it already is. The Lightning port, the SIM card slot and the buttons are such entry points.
Removing the SIM card tray has an added benefit. Apple can recycle this internal space for new logic board designs. Apple can then save more internal space to increase the battery capacity.
ONE Report from Brazil said a few days ago that the iPhone 15 will lose the SIM slot. Separately, MacRumors learned that Apple has instructed wireless carriers to start selling eSIM-only phones from September 2022. Cellular providers should start selling iPhones without nano SIM cards as early as the second quarter of 2022. These pure eSIM iPhones would still have a physical SIM card key. Apple won’t change the design of the iPhone 13 in the middle of the cycle.
The new rumor
A leaker with the name @DylanDKT said on Twitter that he “agrees with recent rumors about the removal of the physical SIM card tray”.
He linked to one of his tweets from February in which he said he could confirm with sources that Apple wants to remove the SIM card tray “sooner than later” from the iPhone. He also said it wasn’t going to happen this year – and it didn’t. But Apple already tested an unknown iPhone model with only eSIM technology.
Apple introduced support for eSIM in 2018 with the iPhone XS / XR series. Since then, every iPhone, even the iPhone SE (2nd generation), has supported eSIM cards. Additionally, the iPhone 13 quietly introduced the feature Apple would need in a model iPhone without a physical SIM card. The iPhone 13 models support dual eSIM cards, which is not available on other dual SIM iPhones.
In other words, Apple has all of the technology it needs to start a phone that doesn’t have a physical SIM card slot but can support two eSIM cards.