What's an eSIM, how it works and why it's important to you

15 October 2017
The Google Pixel 2 is one of the first phones to launch with an eSIM. We take a look at the latest revolution in the world of the ubiquitous SIM card and why you should care?

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  • Sandarce

Okay, I get it. It seems they are talking of a programmable SIM. I should be able to scan or enter a code to select a new operator. The question is: why use any SIM at all? The old cell phones were like that and they didn't need any SIM card. Besides, even without a SIM, the device can still identify itself to the network through its IMEI and it's MAC addresses. Just eliminate any kind of SIM, whether embedded or not, and let the user insert a subscriber identity code manually, if that's what you want. Theoretically, any old phone should be able to do that.

  • tunde

Adul Al Salami Kebab, 11 Sep 2018This is an evil ploy to make us locked to carriers! OwOIf the very reason for making the e-sim in the first place was to enable carrier switch, then how does that lock you to a carrier?

  • Amar

So once tied to a carrier/service provider you don't have chance to sell/give ur phone to anyone

  • Adul Al Salami Kebab

This is an evil ploy to make us locked to carriers! OwO

  • AnonD-651704

Its honestly Sad India 🇮🇳 says doing everything DIGITAL INDIA where is the technology called as where we are still not having e-sim in India , I am eagerly waiting to have an e-sim LTE apple wrist watch 3 its a joke that since so many years e-sim is there in market and technically its safer with the gadgets then too there are millions of questions raised when I AM still waiting and the sad part is INDIA has maximum growth of mobiles

  • mpeli

I agree though that for traditional SIM devices with relatively big size and limited volume like cellular phones, tablets, cars ... eSIM shouldn't offer a lot of of benefit in terms of size or cost.
Well, maybe it will be easier for a person to change operator on-line without hassling with the physical cards.

  • mpeli

Also, say there will be billions of cellular IoT devices in the market soon. So let's assume some company has couple of millions remote meters with cellular IoT radio and each with traditional SIM card. The company wants to change operator now, how much of effort and cost that is to change the SIM cards of every device to another operator SIM cards? Guess the remote meters are remote, so just driving around to reach every device will be very large operation.

  • mpeli

I think eSIM is a must to have for cellular IoT LTE-M/NBIot devices. Even the nano-SIM sized card will be bigger than the smallest cellular modules.

  • Luay

Anonymous, 18 Oct 2017This article is about load of crap. Only advantage the es... moreI am not sure if I can read your reply clearly, this article discuses the benefits of an e-sim where more imbedded services can be introduced for the new generation of services.. As far as tracking we all know that we tracked via, service provider, and sw such as Whatsapp, google and many other applications..

  • eSIM

So with an eSIM, I can then get services from my provider - like getting me a "virtual SIM" from the provider.

Would this then also mean that I could be multiple "virtual SIMs" so that I automatically can connect to multiple providers...
A - Multiple providers in the same country, as multi SIM phones allow today?
B - Multiple providers in different countries, as you do not need to swap anything, as you swap countries it automatically recognizes your provider from that country and "switches virtual SIM" to that country.

  • Anonymous

This article is about load of crap.
Only advantage the esim has is the little space it takes.
Otherwise, it's only a new way for carriers and manufacturers to controller/lock you. Probably track you and you won't be able to do anything, cuz it could be active even in airplane mode if the carrier / manufacturer permitted it. Which will happens , California already wants phones to be traceable even when they are turned off. And this is the way. No removable battries(which I don't mind) and now this.
I'd rather keep the current sim or they keep shrinking tjem, than this tracking chip.
Too bad we won't be able to stop it

  • craigjay

guys why is there so much negativity in our mind sets its rare top get people posting productive stuff which is the actual reason for doing so....

  • AnonD-356282

Linas, 16 Oct 2017Well... Crapple "first" is always with caveats... same goes... moreThe concept of what the e-SIM does existed on iPad's and technically iPhone's since 2014.
Although the Apple SIM isn't embedded on the device, it offers the same functionality as the proposed e-SIM by allowing provisioning of a range of operator profiles.

  • AnonD-356282

Anonymous, 16 Oct 2017deal with it? slave mentally, accepting your loss of rights... moreAre you telling me that you read every product disclaimer and EULA and knowingly accept them? If so, you're a hypocrite because that's exactly what you're doing - giving away your privacy in exchange for the privilege to use someone's product.


  • AnonD-598677

they should build smartphone which can be coded the telco so people no need to buy sim anymore

  • Jolt

What I don't get is how much control do we, the users, have over our esim? Is it going to be like Sprint or Verizon, where you need to get permission to change carriers or unlock your phone? Or is it going to be like the unlocked phones that we have now, that give you complete control over your sim card and how often you can change your carrier?

Remember confusing micro-sim and nano-sim were first released? The iPhone 4 introduced micro-sim when most phones still had a mini-sim. Then just two years later, iPhone 5 introduced nano-sim when most Android flagships were still on mini or just starting with micro. My HTC One M7 and Note 3 in 2013 were still using micro. Using adapters were annoying and with often get stuck.

We don't need different standards every few years. It just confuses more users even more. Apple is supposed to be about simplicity when several of their own products uses different standards. Doesn't make sense that Apple would remove headphone jack but still keep it on MacBook Pro. Then still use Lightning Connector when everyone has gone USB-C including 12" MacBook since 2015.

Now Apple wants to eliminate Touch ID on iPhones next year for Face ID when they barely added it on MacBook Pro last year. The only thing they got right is using the Qi standard for wireless charging. You can actually charge your iPhone 8 at Starbucks next to your Android. Proprietary and different only divides and complicates. Cross-platform and more universal should be the way.

  • Anonymous

Anonymous, 16 Oct 2017It depends on carriers. For phone makers, the solution save... morebut there is a lot of space every year components get smaller and smaller and phones bigger and bigger
everything above 5" has enough space for headphone jack,microsd, 2sim,3000mah and above, ir blaster, 2cameras and so on
just check there is some cheap 2.5" android phones with jack,microsd and 2sim
also go to ifixit and see some images of motherboards
OEMs keep removing stuff which were there before without a problem

  • AlienNextDoor

AnonD-708416, 16 Oct 2017You sound pretty old school. Are you unhappy because you ha... moreOh I'm all for change, but meaningful useful change. I detest change for the sake of change, especially if it makes things worse and not better.

  • Linas

.alpha, 16 Oct 2017Apple was the first to Micro-SIM and Nano-SIM and will prob... moreWell... Crapple "first" is always with caveats... same goes with eSIM - the first device ever to use it was Samsung Gear S2 watch... now obviously ignorant crapple fans will go like "yeah that was product with tiny market share and nothing to compare with fabulous crapplephone selling millions of devices". There is part of truth in saying that Apple revolutionise the market, but that is not because they are first to introduce new features, but first to be noticed. Same here with eSIM - Samsung as first to introduce it... just fact, Google will be second, but Crapple will be remembered in history as "inventor". That is just a way it is...