Apple Allegedly Preparing for iPhones Without SIM Card Slot by September 2022 [Updated]

Earlier this week, a rumor from Brazilian website Blog do iPhone claimed that iPhone 15 Pro models might not have a physical SIM card slot in at least some countries and regions, but the change might happen even sooner.

iphone 12 sim card slot

Image: iFixit

An anonymous tipster informed MacRumors that Apple has advised major U.S. carriers to prepare for the launch of eSIM-only smartphones by September 2022. The tipster shared a seemingly legitimate document outlining the timeframe for this initiative, although the document does not specifically mention Apple or the iPhone.

As part of the transition, some U.S. carriers will allegedly start offering select iPhone 13 models without a nano-SIM card in the box in the second quarter of 2022. iPhone 13 models sold at Apple Stores or on Apple.com already lack a nano-SIM card in the box, with users typically able to activate a cellular plan via eSIM by turning on the iPhone, connecting to a Wi-Fi network, and following the on-screen instructions.

Given the alleged September 2022 deadline, it is possible that Apple might remove the physical SIM card slot starting with some iPhone 14 models, rather than some iPhone 15 models as originally rumored, but nothing is definitive at this point.

An eSIM is a digital SIM that allows users to activate a cellular plan without having to use a nano-SIM card. It's worth noting that eSIM service is not available in all countries, so iPhones with a SIM card slot may remain available in some markets. Adoption is expanding rapidly, though, with over 100 carriers offering eSIM service worldwide and more planning to roll out support in 2022, including Three in the UK and Vodafone in New Zealand.

iPhone 13 models already support multiple eSIM profiles, allowing users to subscribe to several cellular plans digitally and switch between them, and this functionality could pave the way for the SIM card slot's removal in select countries.

Apple's former design chief Jony Ive once envisioned the iPhone as becoming a "single slab of glass," and the SIM card slot's removal would be another step towards a seamless design and improve water resistance in the process. Taking out the slot would also free up some valuable internal space in the iPhone — every bit counts.

Update: Leaker @dylandkt, who has a respectable track record with Apple rumors, tweeted that they are "in agreement with recent rumors regarding the removal of the physical SIM card tray."

Related Roundup: iPhone 14
Related Forum: iPhone

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Top Rated Comments

contacos Avatar
33 months ago

Using eSIM when traveling is so much easier. I have used it for international data, and never have to remember where I put that tiny SIM card.
Interesting. I have yet to find a country that offers eSims for prepaid
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MedRed Avatar
33 months ago
RIP easy SIM swaps while traveling
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
33 months ago



It does make me wonder, though, if this will require Apple to make two versions of each model available. Cellular providers in some countries are still going to insist on iPhones with physical SIM cards.
Hahaha! Pretty sure this will save Apple lots of money. They don't have to tell the carriers to make the SIM cards along with the Sim tool. Slowly it is all getting eliminated. Guess what, Apple will say it took “COURAGE” to make that happen. ??‍♀️


All these tools are going to become useless over for an almighty iPhone :(

I know for a fact some genius will find a way to create a SIM card slot in the 2022 iPhones. Rest assured it will cost $100,000.00.

Attachment Image
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
japanime Avatar
33 months ago
It does make me wonder, though, if this will require Apple to make two versions of each model available. Cellular providers in some countries are still going to insist on iPhones with physical SIM cards.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
genoendicott Avatar
33 months ago

RIP easy SIM swaps while traveling
Using eSIM when traveling is so much easier. I have used it for international data, and never have to remember where I put that tiny SIM card.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bollman Avatar
33 months ago

Then I truly do not believe this story at all. I currently have two numbers on one iPhone ... my personal and my business. And so far dual-SIM has only ever worked perfectly ... or at all ... on iPhones ... for years. Dual-SIM on Android phones has been hot garbage. So I've only stuck with iPhone for this very pertinent and crucial reason. If they get rid of dual SIM, that would be awful. I don't see them doing this. But then again, they have taken away ridiculous things before. I know there are other services for providing a second number on a phone, but I don't want to go through an extra step to do so. It's always been so simple on the iPhone.
This makes me seriously doubt you use dual-SIM that much.
The iPhone is lightyears behind the competition in this area. The iPhone still only has one radio for 2 SIMs. This means that if one line is busy, the other line isn't "busy", it's offline! There are tons of other drawbacks to using one radio for 2 SIMs. Apple was very late into the dual-SIM-game, and it's only halfhearted executed (OMG the line selector is in an awkward place in the phone-app). My Samsung S10 had dual radio, and so does most "flagship" Android phone, and has had for quite some time. Granted, bringing dual-SIM to the iPhone at least gives me the ability to use an iPhone, but it's a lot more of a "hot mess" on the iPhone than on a flagship Android.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)