iPhone 15 Models Sold Outside U.S. Still Have Physical SIM Card Tray

Apple's new iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max models all remain equipped with a physical SIM card tray outside of the United States, as a rumored eSIM-only expansion with the devices failed to materialize.

iPhone 15 SIM Tray
Tech specs on Apple's website confirm that all four iPhone 15 models remain compatible with nano-SIM cards in countries such as the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, Singapore, Turkey, and everywhere else they are sold. In most countries, the devices also continue to support eSIM as well, allowing for dual-SIM functionality with cellular networks.

Apple removed the SIM card tray from all iPhone 14 models in the U.S. last year, forcing customers to use an eSIM, a digital SIM that allows users to activate a cellular plan without having to use a physical nano-SIM card. Apple has a support document with a list of carriers that support eSIM technology around the world.

When the iPhone 14 series launched in the U.S., Apple promoted eSIMs as being more secure than a physical SIM since they cannot be removed from an iPhone that is lost or stolen. Apple added that up to eight eSIMs can be managed in the iPhone's Settings app, eliminating the need to obtain, carry, and swap physical SIM cards while traveling. iPhone 13 and newer models can have two eSIMs active at the same time.

With eSIM availability expanding, the SIM card tray might eventually be removed from iPhones sold outside of the U.S., but for now it lives another year.

Related Roundups: iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro
Related Forum: iPhone

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Top Rated Comments

TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
10 months ago
eSim is cool and handy but I prefer Physical Sim Card Tray iPhones. Especially for those who travel internationally. Makes it so much easier.
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
doboy Avatar
10 months ago
Pretty stupid to have 2x SKU's just for the SIM tray. Just make it all with the SIM tray.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
canadianspeculator Avatar
10 months ago
ESim is great in theory, but I travel abroad frequently for work and on more than one occasion I've bought an Airalo or Ubigi SIM that simply doesn't work, and then I can't even get my money back. It's a bad system for those who actually need to do frequent SIM changes. I'm actually in Japan right now, and I bought an Ubigi - it wouldn't activate for three days straight, leaving me no choice but to pay for expensive roaming.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nozuka Avatar
10 months ago

eSim is cool and handy but I prefer Sim Card Tray iPhones for those who travel internationally. Makes it so much easier.
Getting an e-Sim for traveling from an App seems easier to me, than buying one in a store and putting in the phone.
You can even do it before you get there and have one less thing to worry about when you arrive.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
canadianspeculator Avatar
10 months ago

I'm in Japan and getting an Ubigi sim card was extremely simple; activated right away for me. And similar issues can (and have) happened with physical sim cards as well.
I'm glad you had that experience, but this is literally my 8th time having an ESim fail out on me. It's happened a ton, particularly in Asia and Africa. It's simply not a reliable experience- or maybe my 14 is the issue (doubtful)
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
10 months ago
Is it just me or does eSIM in the U.S. only seem to be getting uptake with the full-price majors while most- but not all- of the relatively cheap MVNOs don't seem to be going there (or at least not very quickly)? It doesn't SEEM like a technology that would require MVNOs to spend a lot of money to support it (in fact, it seems like it could save them money for not having to make & mail SIM cards and provide support on installing them)... so I wonder why the uptake seems slow or even "no" after all this time?

Meanwhile, they all still support SIM cards. So if me, I'd want this kind of iPhone too... so I don't find myself having to choose between only a few players that mostly demand maximum profit plans in the U.S. Once I could see many value-minded MVNOs offering eSIM, this opinion would change. But before then, I'd want to keep my options as open as possible until many of them are on board.

Apparently the SIM-capable phone can do everything the SIM-less one can do and I don't read that it costs more either... so I see it as a phone with a money-saving bonus feature that can use eSIM or SIM vs. those only able to use one of them. So far eSIM in America feels like a "big 3" service provider cash grab to me.

Do I prefer an eSIM world? Yes, but let's get the value service players on board fast... instead of forcing the option that mostly the more expensive service providers can actually fulfill (in America). Since we can't do that with words posted in a bulletin board online, the action a consumer could take is to go to the trouble of getting a new phone that also has the SIM option too.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)