Rumoured Apple eSIM-only iPhone was always a question of when, not if, says GlobalData

Following a series of published rumours that Apple is set to launch an eSIM-only iPhone handset in September;

Emma Mohr-McClune, a Technology Service Director at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:

“An eSIM-only iPhone was always a question of ‘when’, not ‘if’—but, so far, there has been insufficient consideration as to ‘how’.

“We don’t believe that Apple will take the ‘big bang’ approach—getting rid of existing systems and transferring all users to eSIMs—but rather launch an eSIM-only variant of its upcoming new model—retaining the dual eSIM-plus-physical SIM slot model for the mass market and its key carrier channel.

“To that end, we believe telecom companies will be given the choice of whether to stock and sell a new eSIM-only iPhone variation alongside more cellular business-friendly dual eSIM/physical SIM support models.

“Further, we think it’s likely that the primary focus of this theoretical eSIM-only iPhone will be the Apple channel and that, by launch, Apple will provide this model with ‘wireless data connectivity inside’ together with one or more connectivity partners—much in the same way it positions 4G and 5G connectivity for the iPad today.

“Apple may also consider a VAS digital service shakeup, aligning Apple-sourced connectivity with certain Apple-branded digital services for a more attractive overall proposition.

“Telcos need to prepare carefully for such an eventuality, boosting their own internal eSIM support tools and general marketing and support readiness, as well as improving their own eSIM onboarding and anticipating aggressor eSIM-support ‘test pilot’ promotion, such as the ones we’ve seen recently in the US from T-Mobile and Verizon’s Visible.”

More Media