Embedded SIMs or eSIM tech has been available in smartphones for quite few years now. It proved to be the perfect tool for consumers to have multiple plans (e.g., for work, travel, backup connectivity) and gain more power over which wireless carriers to choose. Many phone and technology companies were attracted to the concept and started implementing the technology in their products.
Due to the practicality and features of eSIM tech, the feature is gradually going mainstream. A handful of smartphones – especially iPhones – released each year have eSIM support, enabling users to actually experience using eSIM tech. Let’s find out why eSIM still hasn’t caught up with the smartphone industry yet.
Challenges in eSIM Technology
It’s only natural for any new form of technology to have its problems and challenges. One of those challenges is the users’ concern about security. While remote SIM provisioning and a secure chip solve these problems, consumers are gradually realizing the eSIM tech is actually safer than SIM cards, as at least it doesn’t have SIM swapping risks.
The first major reason for the slow adoption of eSIMs could be the implementation cost. So far, we’ve only seen certain eSIM enabled devices from established manufacturers. Those big names in tech that produce the latest smartwatches and tablets serve as the perfect testbeds for gauging the success of the technology. Mainstream line of products from those same manufacturers, like Apple and Samsung, have been supporting eSIM in a variety of their smart devices.
One of the defining features of a programmable eSIM API is its ability to switch between different carriers easily. While checking and comparing data plans and carriers is enough online, there are still a limited number of ways to apply said plans quickly to your eSIM-enabled phone. Customers often have to physically visit stores or buy eSIM packs, scan QR codes, and mess around in settings menus. eSIMs offer many conveniences when in use, but customers still need to do some basic research to benefit from such eSIM tech conveniences.
The ability to switch between different carriers has been highly anticipated by many people ever since the idea of eSIMs were first introduced. While it may be beneficial to users, it might not be that much enticing to network providers and operators. Of course, from a business standpoint, they want to retain customers on their network and prevent migration by offering sticky offers to retain customers for as long as possible. With how traditional SIM cards are set up, users are forever tied to a single carrier as long as they need it and keep paying their bills on time. The only way to switch carriers is to physically switch out the SIM card or buy a secondary phone from a different provider. But with the use of eSIM, all it takes for a user to switch networks is by simply activating an eSIM QR code. It’s as easy as switching Wi-FI networks or creating a new email address.
While eSIM tech is here to stay, it would still require for the consumer to learn about its benefits as carriers may not do this job. As more applications of eSIM become available and are introduced to the market, more people will realize the value of this unique piece of technology. And as eSIM evolves into “iSIM” (an integrated SIM with the main processor of the mobile device), it will eventually become a standard feature of all new phones. This is why the GSMA expects 42% of all smartphones to be eSIM-enabled by 2025.
Celitech is the world’s first digital-only connectivity platform offering global cellular data to businesses via an API. If you need a programmable eSIM API to boost your customer or employee engagement, Celitech can be of help; contact us today to learn more.