eSIM-only iPhone 15 remains exclusive to the US
Last year, Apple announced its ambitious plans to put an end to the old SIM card by making iPhone 14 the first eSIM-only iPhone… except for those living anywhere outside the US. Despite some rumors suggesting that Apple would expand the eSIM-only iPhone to more countries, the US is still the only country to have the iPhone 15 without a physical SIM tray.
iPhone 15 still has a SIM tray outside the US
Earlier this year, a report claimed that Apple would expand the SIM-free iPhone to France and some other countries in Europe with this year’s iPhones. But it turns out that this didn’t happen with the iPhone 15.
Looking at Apple’s website, we can see that there are four different models for each new iPhone 15. One of them is the global model sold in most countries, the other is the Chinese model that has physical Dual-SIM instead of eSIM, the third model is for regions such as Canada, Japan, and Mexico, and there’s another model exclusively for the US.
This can be confirmed by visiting Apple’s website in other countries, as they all show the new iPhones with the SIM card tray on the left-hand side of the phone. On a related note, the US iPhone also remains the only one to support faster 5G mmWave networks.
As Apple itself pointed out at its event last year, using an eSIM instead of a physical SIM has a lot of benefits, such as greater security since the SIM can’t be removed from the phone if it gets stolen. However, in some countries, the adoption of eSIM has been quite slow, and there are still many wireless carriers that don’t provide support for this technology.
In a perfect scenario, removing the SIM tray from the iPhone would allow Apple to place some other component in that internal space. However, as shown by iFixit, the US iPhone models have a plastic block where the SIM tray is located on the other models, meaning the free extra space is basically useless for now.
Given that any country other than the US will receive iPhone 15 models with a SIM tray, we’ll probably have to wait another year to see if Apple follows through on its ambitious plans to kill the SIM card in more countries.