It looks like the notch isn8217;t the only thing disappearing from the iPhone 14. The odds-on favourite for our best phones guide in 2022 may also be losing the SIM card too. That8217;s according to MacRumors, whose anonymous tipster shared Apple8217;s instructions to US phone networks: prepare for eSIM iPhones in 2022. A separate leaker told the site that the leak is legitimate. An eSIM does the same job as a SIM card; it just does it in software rather than hardware.
Apple going all-in on eSIMs is not a huge surprise. Apple already sells the iPhone 13 without a physical SIM card included if you buy from Apple online or an Apple Store, and the cellular version of the Apple Watch has always used an eSIM exclusively too. If the imminent Apple AR headset is going to have cellular connectivity, eSIM would make sense for that too.
The reason Apple is removing the physical SIM card is simple: it needs the space. A traditional SIM card isn8217;t huge when you look at it by itself, but when you see how much of an iPhone 13 it takes up you can see why Apple wants it gone: it8217;s a bit indentation into space that could be used for battery or other new features.
The only reason it hasn8217;t gone already is because eSIM take-up has been relatively slow, and some networks don8217;t support it yet: for example in the UK, major network Three won8217;t launch its eSIM support until 2022. That8217;s why you can8217;t use the Apple Watch8217;s cellular connectivity on every UK network just yet. If Apple8217;s pushing networks to adopt eSIM, that could change this year and make the GPS+Cellular version of the Apple Watch Series 8 much more tempting for more people.
It8217;s possible that Apple may remove the SIM slot from some but not all iPhones, for example by taking it out of the Pro and Pro Max models but keeping it in the standard iPhone 14. That makes sense to me: it means Apple8217;s biggest selling iPhone would still be available on the most networks worldwide.