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iPhone 14 series: Indian buyers in a fix with launch of eSIM-only handset

Apple’s decision to launch the e-SIM-only iPhone 14 series in the US has left US buyers baffled. Surprisingly, it also hit some Indian folks despite the availability of a physical SIM slot in the India-focused iPhone 14 series. This is because a large number of Apple consumers in India get their iPhones from the US at a significantly cheaper rate through their visiting relatives, friends, relatives, et al. Their concerns are mainly about the compatibility with Indian networks and the availability of eSIM in india.

Analysts believe that tech-conscious consumers who know that Indian telecom operators offer eSIM services can still opt for US-made iPhones. Others would either buy Indian models or look to destinations like Dubai, where the iPhones are slightly more expensive than from the US, but still much cheaper than India.

“Since US iPhones need eSIM support from day one in India, some tech-conscious consumers may still continue to buy iPhones there,” said Prabhu Ram, head of the Industry Intelligence Group at CyberMedia Research (CMR). “For others, it will be wise to buy new iPhones in India.”

“Dubai, a distant home for many Indians, is likely to be the preferred destination for iPhone buyers this year, as these phones are cheaper there and come with a physical SIM slot. So consumers get the iPhone of their choice (with physical SIM card) for a lower price. It’s a win-win situation for consumers,” said Faisal Kawoosa, chief analyst at Techarc.

Apple has been a trendsetter in the global smartphone market that has been unapologetically copied by other brands on many occasions. Removing the iPhone’s headphone jack, the notch screen, and removing the charging adapter are examples of this. Likewise, the focus on eSIM-only smartphones is expected to pick up steam now that Apple has kicked off the trend.

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“The launch of the eSIM-only iPhone 14 variant in the US indicates that the winds of change are very strong here, despite all the temporary challenges with technology adoption at scale, in the near to near term,” said Ram. .

An eSIM (embedded SIM) is a reprogrammable chip that is integrated into the smartphone. It has its pros and cons, but it is definitely better than the physical SIM. This is because the eSIM is reprogrammable and can store multiple unique IDs. Simply put, a smartphone with eSIM can store multiple SIM profiles. This provides convenience, especially for those who have more than one active connection.

Security is another plus of the eSIM. It cannot be deleted and thus cannot be misused if it is lost or stolen. For international travelers, the eSIM makes it easy to sign up for telecom connections and activate them before arriving at their destination. However, it only works in countries where eSIM is offered by telecom operators.

In India, the eSIM is available in premium smartphones such as Samsung Galaxy S series, Google Pixel series and Apple iPhones in addition to the physical SIM card. This hybrid SIM scheme is expected to remain the combination choice for India-focused smartphones. Now, though, it’s likely to trickle down to smartphones in price ranges. Analysts believe it is time for both telecom operators and phone manufacturers to raise awareness around eSIMs.

“While telcos in India will be ready to adapt to the potential changes the future holds with eSIM alone, the focus will need to be on creating awareness, awareness and trust in eSIMs among consumers,” said Ram.

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