Apple and Google Leading the Way on eSIM Adoption

The number of eSIMs installed in devices will increase from 1.2 billion in 2021 to 3.4 billion in 2025, mostly thanks to Apple and Google devices, according to a study conducted by Juniper Research.

eSIMs are small modules embedded directly into devices that provide cellular connectivity by storing multiple network operator profiles, removing the need for a physical SIM card in an ejecting tray.

The adoption of eSIMs in devices is expected to increase 180 percent by 2025, with as much as 94 percent of global eSIM installations being driven by the consumer electronics sector. Other contributors include the industrial and public sectors.

Although widespread adoption is reliant on network operators, Apple and Google devices are highlighted as the most important drivers in the adoption of eSIM frameworks, accelerating the growth of the technology in the industrial and public sectors. The research paper urges device manufacturers to place more pressure on operators to support eSIM frameworks and accelerate market maturation.

Apple has pioneered the commercialization of eSIM technology since the launch of the cellular Apple Watch Series 3. eSIM has since proliferated to the iPad Pro and iPhone in 2018.

The upcoming iOS 14.5 update is also expected to add support for dual 5G-band using the physical SIM as well as the eSIM chip. This functionality was previously only available in mainland China.

eSIM adoption by more carriers is likely to lead to the eventual removal of the SIM card tray on the ‌iPhone‌ and create more internal space, but as shown by the limited support for eSIM on cellular versions of the Apple Watch in some regions, there is still some way to go before the technology has truly widespread use.

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