Apple’s latest generation mobile operating system, iOS 16, could allow users to transfer their existing eSIMs on iPhones without compulsorily needing to visit the respective telecom operator. According to a new report by Macrumors, citing iOS 16’s developer beta, iOS 16 will offer users the ability to switch their existing eSIMs using Bluetooth.
eSIMs are embedded, programmable SIM cards that are built into a device, which could be linked to a telecom operator’s network through software.
So far, shifting between two smartphones have required a reauthentication of an eSIM, which typically requires a user to contact their respective telecom operator for the same. However, iOS 16’s new feature suggests that the eSIM settings integrated into an iPhone by a telecom operator could now be transferred via Bluetooth.
However, reports also state that support for the feature will depend on when telecom operators adopt the same. With iOS 16 in developer beta right now, support for the same may not be immediately available with telcos, and could potentially expand in future.
In India, it remains to be seen when telecom operators adopt the same – details that would only become apparent once iOS 16 is rolled out in its stable form later this year. In India, Apple is the primary promoter of eSIMs on mobile devices. According to telecom operator Reliance Jio’s official list of supported devices, smartphones that are compatible with eSIMs in India include Apple’s iPhone XR/XS and newer, Samsung’s Galaxy S20 and newer series of flagship phones, Samsung Z series foldable phones, and the two Moto Razr foldable phones.
Apple, however, is not a major smartphone seller in India, while Samsung’s flagship devices also have a small market share. For Apple, despite a sharp increase in market share in 2021, the company still has a 4.4% share of India’s smartphone market – which according to a Deloitte report in February 2022, had over 700 million smartphone users in the country.