The iPhone 14 series doesn't have a SIM TRAY

Only in the US will the new iPhone 14 line come without physical SIM card slots. They'll be able to use and store more than two eSIMs at once, but is it a big deal that there won't be a physical tray? And is it rude to users and dumb? 

First, let's review what eSIMs are: they're like SIM cards, but they're digital instead of physical. That means your phone can be provisioned remotely — no more going to a store to get a physical SIM. This makes it easier (in some ways) to switch networks or try one out. For example, T-Mobile now uses eSIMs to let people try out its network for up to three months. 

As of iOS 16, you can even transfer your eSIM between iPhones using Bluetooth, which should make it almost as easy as using a physical SIM card, as long as you stay in the Apple ecosystem. Of course. 

Most major US carriers and many carriers around the world support eSIM, and iPhones have done so since 2018. This includes the ability to use two SIMs at the same time. Before the iPhone 13, you could only use one eSIM and one physical SIM. With the iPhone 13 family, you can use two eSIMs at the same time. The next step is to take out the physical SIM card and the hole it makes in the case. At least for Apple, and at least in the United States. Everywhere else, the iPhone 14 still has a SIM tray. 

If you use a major US cell phone network like AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile, the lack of a physical SIM tray probably won't affect you much. You can get an eSIM from Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile without going to a store, even if you switch phone carriers or phones. 

But if your carrier doesn't support eSIM or you plan to switch to one that does, you shouldn't get the iPhone 14 right now. You might not have to wait too long. This could give smaller carriers the push they need to start using eSIMs. 

(The iPhone 14 lineup sold outside the US still has nano-SIM slots.) 

At the launch event, Apple spokespeople told The Verge that the iPhone 14 can hold up to six eSIMs, but only two can be used at the same time. The iPhone 14 Pro, on the other hand, can hold up to eight eSIMs. Airolo, a global eSIM reseller, says that old iPhones could hold anywhere from five to ten SIM cards, depending on the model. This might make the loss of the physical SIM tray a little less painful, but not all international carriers support eSIMs. I haven't used Airolo, so I can't vouch for them, but being able to remotely set up a local eSIM when traveling abroad could save you the trouble of finding a local SIM. 

The ability to have more than one active SIM is great for people who travel a lot, live in places where coverage from different networks is spotty, or have different work and personal numbers. I bought my iPhone 11 when I lived in the Netherlands. It has both a Dutch eSIM and a physical Verizon SIM, so I could use a local SIM whether I was in Europe or the US without losing access to my other number or having to change my iMessage or WhatsApp settings. 

With a physical SIM, it's easy to switch carriers or move your number to a new phone. They're everywhere, they work on all phones, and they're easy to use (though also easy to lose; ask me how I know). Many of my coworkers don't like that the SIM slot is going away. It's not always easy to move an eSIM from an iPhone to an Android phone. 

Most people don't switch carriers or phones every few weeks, so I don't think taking out the SIM tray is necessarily bad for them. But that depends on how easy eSIMs are to install and move from one platform to another. We'll wait and see what happens. 

Updated September 7, 4:45 p.m. ET: Added information about eSIM support: the iPhone 14 can store up to six, and the 14 Pro can store up to eight. Nano-SIMs can still be used in models sold outside of the US.


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