Google may well push smartphone makers to ditch SIM card slots in their smartphones with Android 13. A new feature would improve eSIM.
SIM cards have been present in our smartphones for several years now, but they could soon become a relic thanks to a new technology that Google would introduce with Android 13.
Smartphone manufacturers and telephone operators already offer a very interesting alternative to physical SIM cards: the digital eSIM. For those who don’t know, eSIM is an embedded SIM card, which allows you to download and activate your profile to benefit from mobile services without inserting a physical SIM card. More and more operators around the world are starting to offer eSIM compatible plans. Orange launched the technology in 2019, while SFR waited for the start of 2020 to adopt the eSIM.
Most high-end smartphones are already compatible with the technology. The only disadvantage of the eSIM is that it does not allow to connect to several different operatorsbut Google may well have a solution to this problem with its future Android 13 update which will arrive at the end of the year.
Google could allow eSIM to connect to multiple carriers
Google’s solution uses what it calls Multiple Activated Profiles (MEPs) to allow multiple active SIM profiles on a single eSIM, as Esper’s Mishaal Rahman details. In other words, a single eSIM will be able to connect simultaneously to two different operators. Adding multiple profiles on a single eSIM card will make it much easier for people to switch between networks, and therefore could remove the current limitation of eSIM technology which until now prevented smartphone manufacturers from removing the physical SIM drawers from their devices.
Google’s new technology could also help manufacturers reduce the manufacturing costs of their smartphones, since they would no longer have to add SIM drawers to their devices. Instead, manufacturers could use that space to increase battery size or provide a slot for expandable storage via a micro SD card.
Rahman predicts that this approach will debut in Android 13 after finding evidence that Google tested the MEP solution on “unspecified Pixel hardware”. In addition, good news for all Internet users, this solution would not be Android specific. In other words, this new technology could also be used on iOS or even in Windows PCs. This corroborates another leak, which announced that the iPhone 15 Pro could be the first smartphones from Apple to ditch SIM cards.