It is speculated that the iPhone 14 series will only launch with eSIM and nano-SIM card options. Previously, it was rumored that Apple would completely ditch the existing physical SIM card slot in favor of eSIM support on new iPhone models. Separately, the first beta of iOS 15.4 for developers suggested that Apple is developing a ‘swap tool’ that would look for cosmetic damage to provide users with more accurate price estimates for older devices. The tool can work by scanning an imaging device being swapped.
Like reported by iMore, director of technology services at data analytics and consulting firm GlobalData, Emma Mohr-McClune predicted that Apple would keep a nano-SIM slot option for the iPhone 14 series, in addition to bringing an eSIM-only option this year.
The analyst said the iPhone maker would give telcos the option to stock and sell the new version of the eSIM-only iPhone alongside “more business-friendly cellular business-friendly dual eSIM/physical SIM support models.”
Last month, a report citing a seemingly legitimate document said Apple had recommended that major US telecom operators prepare for eSIM-only smartphones by September. This indicated the launch of the eSIM-only iPhone 14 series.
By adopting eSIM over the traditional nano-SIM card slot, Apple would essentially allow users to have cellular connectivity on their new iPhone models without using a physical SIM card. The experience is expected to be similar to how people can get 4G or 5G connectivity on an iPad, which has already started using eSIM-only support.
The transition from nano-SIM card slot to eSIM started in the iPhone family when Apple introduced dual-SIM support in iPhone XS models. The company also introduced dual-SIM support using eSIM on the iPhone 13 series last year. Also, the other device that Apple has in its product portfolio with eSIM support is the cellular version of its Apple Watch models that allow data and voice access on the smartwatch, without the need for a physical SIM.
In related news, the iOS 15.4 beta included some references to a new swap tool that would check iPhone models for cosmetic damage. There are strings within the iOS code that indicate the development of the new tool that can use the iPhone’s camera to check details like scratches, dents and even broken glass, 9to5Mac reports.
The tool would be able to share the scanned details with Apple to help provide more accurate trade-in value to customers looking to trade in their old iPhone for a new one.
Apple may also use the exchange tool as an extension of its self-service repair program to help users recognize genuine replacement parts through the camera before mounting them to their devices.
Exact details on how and when the trade tool will be available have yet to be revealed. The latest beta version also lacks front-end benchmarks to allow developers to test the ongoing offering on their own.