The new Motorola Razr has caused a stir since its revelation last week. But this new phone not only pushes the envelope with its foldable screen. In fact, the new Motorola Razr is being sold with a pure eSIM configuration, making it the first phone to completely save the physical SIM card slot. Smartphone brands are seeing great potential and the launch of the new Motorola Razr is just the beginning. Although Google Pixel 4 and iPhone 11 Pro also support eSIMs, they also have the physical SIM option. The new Razr, on the other hand, completely dispenses with a conventional SIM card slot and that is unique.
Worldwide sales of eSIM-enabled devices (including for vehicles) increased 63 percent year-on-year to 364 million units. According to the research firm Counterpoint, an estimated 2 billion units will ship by 2025. It is expected that other manufacturers such as Xiaomi, Huawei, Samsung and Vivo will launch smartphones with integrated eSIM.
"Over the next 18 months, all leading manufacturers will launch high-end smartphones with eSIM." Deval Sheth, Managing Director of Giesecke & Devrient India, said in an interview with indianexpress.com , The German company, which was credited with developing the first SIM card in the 1990s, has become a leading name in eSIM technology. Sheth expects at least 20 to 30 percent of smartphones to be eSIM enabled over the next two to three years.
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eSIM or Embedded Subscriber Identity Module is basically an electronic version of today's standard SIM card. SIM cards, including eSIMs, have two basic functions – for connecting and identifying devices in mobile networks. While a physical SIM card is "hardwired" with a mobile service provider (eg Airtel or Vodafone), the eSIM is a chip that is soldered directly to the smartphone's PCB. Unlike a physical SIM card, an eSIM provides a remote deployment that allows users to remotely change and activate the SIM profile embedded in a device. Once your smartphone is eSIM-enabled, you can switch to any telecommunications provider without changing the physical SIM card. The unnecessary effort for users when switching to a new network operator is now a thing of the past.
The real benefit of using an eSIM-aware device may be that users can store multiple operator profiles for different services in eSIM. An eSIM is also beneficial for travelers who can switch to the local network operator to avoid roaming charges.
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The ecosystem evolves to the idea that eSIMs have an advantage over physical SIM cards. However, the use of eSIMs goes beyond the convenience factor. With eSIMs it is now possible to design smartphones with thinner and lighter profiles, since no physical SIM slots are required. The new Razr has a thickness of 14 mm when closed. The lack of a physical SIM slot could have played a crucial role in the extremely thin design of the new Motorola Razr. Interestingly, the new Motorola Razr is the only foldable phone that features a water-resistant nano coating and is splash-proof. The Samsung Galaxy Fold, however, is neither sleek nor lightweight as the new Motorola Razr and does not have a water-repellent design.
The merit for the dissemination of the eSIM, however, must lie with the LTE versions of the Apple Watch. Indeed, in addition to automobiles, smartwatches will be a major growth area for eSIMs. Some of the leading car manufacturers such as BMW, Audi and Mercedes support eSIMs, which provide real-time traffic information and remote assistance on the move. In India, MG Hector and Hyundai Venue are supporting eSIMs for cellular connections. Connected laptops are another emerging category that greatly facilitates the adoption of eSIMs.
However, the industry has proven resilient to eSIM's mobile ecosystem. In particular, the telecommunications operators, including Airtel and Reliance Jio in India, reject the concept and only support it with a handful. Many fear that eSIM adoption could be detrimental to their business as users can easily switch service providers without switching devices without the need for a new SIM card. The manufacturers on the Chinese mainland and in South Korea have not played and could be decisive for how big the trends are in the end.