eSIM-only iPhones: Apple announces new devices won’t have SIM card slots


By Heather

Travel & Tech Writer


The eSIM world exploded on Wednesday afternoon as Apple announced new U.S. iPhone models will be eSIM-only, with no SIM card tray.

While many iPhones are already eSIM-compatible, they all currently have slots to accept physical SIM cards, giving users the option to connect to networks via SIM cards or eSIMs.

But the Sept. 7 announcement from Apple means that going forward, U.S. models will not have the ability to insert any kind of SIM card, including the tiniest Nano-SIM cards.

That means iPhones users will need to get comfortable with how eSIM technology works, as it will soon be their only option … unless they want to cling to their iPhone 13s forever?

As Apple describes it, “eSIM allows users to easily connect or quickly transfer their existing plans digitally, is a more secure alternative to a physical SIM card, and allows for multiple cellular plans on a single device.”

If you’re already drooling over the sleek design of the soon-to-be-released iPhone 14, we’re right there with you. But let’s dive into what this ground-breaking eSIM-only update means for everyone …

What does this update mean for existing iPhone users?

If you already have an iPhone, there’s nothing to do on your end. Your iPhone is likely already eSIM-compatible, so you’ll continue to have the option to use your SIM card or your built-in eSIMs.

Does my current iPhone support eSIM?

If you have an iPhone XR or newer, chances are that you’ve been able to use eSIM data packages all along (but may not have realized they were an option).

Here’s the complete list of current iPhones with eSIM capabilities:

  • iPhone XR*
  • iPhone XS**
  • iPhone XS Max*
  • iPhone 11*
  • iPhone 11 Pro*
  • iPhone SE (2nd gen or 3rd gen only)
  • iPhone 12*
  • iPhone 12 Mini**
  • iPhone 12 Pro*
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max*
  • iPhone 13*
  • iPhone 13 Mini**
  • iPhone 13 Pro*
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max*
*excluding devices purchased in Mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macao
**excluding devices purchased in Mainland China

Which iPhones won’t have a SIM card option?

According to Apple’s hot-off-the-presses release, neither the iPhone 14 Pro nor iPhone 14 Pro Max will have SIM trays in the U.S. models.

Why would I want to use eSIM?

Whether you’re planning on keeping your existing iPhone or upgrading to one of the shiny eSIM-only iPhones without SIM card slots, we’re here to tell you that eSIM technology is pretty fantastic.

Did you know “eSIM” stands for “Embedded SIM,” and that it does everything a physical SIM card can do?

It’s true — an eSIM can connect you to networks all over the world, just like an old-fashioned SIM card, and you’ll be able to take advantage of amazing deals on data.

Here in the aloSIM app, you can shop for travel data in 120+ countries, and many of the packages start as low as $4.50 for a week’s worth of data.

Benefits of using eSIM

1. Affordable local travel data

Going on vacation? No problem. You won’t have to pay roaming charges if you use an eSIM to connect to a local network.

2. Short-term data

Have a device that doesn’t have cell service/a data plan? Use eSIM to put small amounts of data on it here and there, as needed. (Perfect for kids and teens.)

3. Prepaid data without contracts

Sometimes people don’t want the hassle of a carrier contract, but they do want regular data. They use eSIM data packages to stay connected on their own terms, whenever they want.

Will I miss having a real SIM card?

Simply put? Nope! You won’t miss your “real” SIM cards one bit.

Since an eSIM will do exactly what a regular SIM card can do, why not embrace the digital version?

Instead of messing around with carriers and fumbling to transfer SIM cards, you’ll be able to control your phone’s data connection with a few taps of your finger. Anytime, anywhere.

So whether you’re buying eSIM data on your travels or at home, eSIM is the cheapest, fastest, most convenient way to stay connected to local networks … with no risk of losing or breaking a physical SIM card.

Welcome to the eSIM family

We’re excited to see the first eSIM-only iPhone 14s in person! Pre-orders begin this Friday (Sept. 9, 2022) and the first ones will be available next Friday (Sept. 16, 2022).

We’re sure this exciting news will spawn a lot of conversations online about eSIM and how to use it, so we’re looking forward to being part of those chats, too!