Apple played a major role in reducing the size of SIM cards from standard to micro-nano and introduced eSIM capabilities with the Apple SIM on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro a few years ago.
There is, however, an area that Apple has been ignoring for a while, which is dual SIM capabilities and with the iPhone XS, Apple finally checks that box.
What do you need dual SIM capabilities for?
Many people who live in the US or Western Europe do not really consider dual SIM cards as a much needed function, but they switch to Asia or Africa and this is almost a requirement for several reasons.
Some people use it to get the best data and call plans that may not be on the same telco, while others use it to have two different numbers, such as work and personal. Many travelers also like this feature to save on roaming costs by equipping their secondary SIM slot with a local SIM card at their destination.
There are plenty of scenarios that emphasize the importance of using dual-SIM cards and so far an Android phone was virtually the only option available to smartphone users.
Why does Apple now switch to dual SIM solutions?
With the latest iPhone line-up of 2018, Apple has gone all-in with dual-SIM capabilities found on all three models introduced today: the iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max and the iPhone XR. The way Apple has implemented this feature is different for phones sold in China and phones sold in the rest of the world.
The Chinese version of the new iPhones has two sim slots for adding two physical nano-SIM cards, while the rest of the world gets one SIM slot and an embedded SIM card or eSIM.
Although the use of eSIM is certainly on the rise, it is surprising that Apple introduced the dual SIM tray version only in China. Most countries where this is a required function do not really have a telco that offers eSIM capabilities.
But maybe that's Apple's plan to push telco's in offering eSIM services. Just as Apple pushed the SIM card sizes down with previous iPhones, this could be Apple's game to completely eliminate the SIM card.
We all know that Apple hates physical connectors and the introduction of a secondary eSIM seems to be the safest way to completely remove the SIM slot from future iPhones.