Technology has taken the world by storm, especially in the last 10 years. The thought that people used to live without mobile phones (some 20 odd years ago) seems unthinkable. Mobile phones have revolutionized and transformed the world in which we live. People are finding new ways to make mobile phones more effective everyday. Apple is considered to be at the pinnacle of the mobile phone world. iPhones are considered to be the most premium handsets anyone can get, they are like the predators on top of the food chain.
The iPhone market is booming all across the world because an iPhone is not considered just a phone it is considered as a status and style statement. However, in places like India and China dual sim phones are hugely popular. The ability to have two phone numbers for different purposes (generally home & work respectively) in one mobile phone is considered very desirable. Apple doesn’t offer this feature and it definitely limits the ability of probably the biggest mobile phone manufacturer in the world to grow and establish in certain countries.
It looks like apple are going to take some actions to assert their dominance in the world in the near future. It is rumored that Apple are considering launching the new iPhone 8 and subsequent models with dual sim card options/variants. An apple employee Li Su (principle architect for cellular software at Apple) has filed a patent with China’s State Intellectual Property Office. The patent describes a dual sim card feature that would allow the iPhone to store two phone numbers (instead of one). This patent application by Li Su was submitted in March 2016 and published in September 2016 according to the filing.
Apple was also awarded a patent for dual sim card technology in the United States in early December. The US patent reads “Some mobile devices have the capability of using multiple SIMs allowing users to maintain different wireless services, such as for business and personal use”. Li Su is listed on the US patent as well along with two other Apple wireless cellular engineers, Ming Hu and Guojie Dong.
The one major selling point of iPhones is their sleek design and desirable looks (which appeals the younger as well as older demography). A dual sim card would inevitably add some bulk to the hardware and it could lead to making the new iPhone less desirable (in terms of looks) when compared to its predecessors. To counter this issue and to make the new iPhone less bulky there has been a growing interest lately around eSIM (embedded sim), which can be reprogrammed through software (like microprocessor units). eSIMs would have a major advantage because instead of a carrier providing the physical sim card to get on their networks, the eSIM card can be reprogrammed through a software to get on different networks. Apple began shipping an eSIM in its 9.7 inch iPad Pro in 2016.
However it is unrealistic to think that the Dual Sim feature would be included in countries other than India and China because in all the major Apple markets such as US, Western Europe, Japan, South Korea and Australia, Apple ties up with carriers (who provide sim cards) to sell their phones. Most of the iPhones are locked and sold on contract basis with the carriers and apple will definitely not jeopardize that in the countries in which they are doing pretty well.