SIM Card Vs eSIM: Which Factors Set These Two Apart?

Although SIM cards stay as the conventional choice, eSIM is also gaining traction.

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sim card vs esim
Image: Pixabay

The SIM card and the eSIM serve the same purpose but differ in their respective approaches. While the former’s approach defines a SIM as an independent add-on chip, the latter’s approach is based on unifying a SIM with a smartphone.

There’s no doubt that SIM cards are the norm in most parts of the world. But interestingly, eSIM technology is also spreading at a good pace. The driving factor behind this is the convenience & flexibility that comes after switching to eSIM.

These two variants of a SIM have specific notable differences between them. This article will outline the same and give you a clear insight into these technologies.

SIM Card vs eSIM: Head-To-Head Comparison

SIM CardeSIM
It needs to be installed/removed manuallyCan be activated/deactivated via phone software
Rests in the SIM tray; removableSoldered onto internal hardware; non-removable
Switching carriers requires physically swapping SIM cardsSwitching carriers is done in a few taps via phone software
It only supports one carrier at a timeSeamless support for multiple carriers
Prevalent and industry-standardPrimarily available in high-end products and relatively new
All telecom providers support itMany telecom providers support this but not all
Option to altogether ditch SIM and go off the radarNo way to get rid of the built-in SIM

Apart from the comparison above, eSIM also offers design-related freedom to device manufacturers. Unlike a SIM card that requires manufacturers to create a dedicated space for its SIM tray, there’s no such condition for eSIM. This allows manufacturers to ditch SIM tray slots and design improvements, including better water and dust resistance. Such flexibility is especially crucial in smaller gadgets such as wearables.

Even though eSIM is nowhere near as prevalent as the SIM card, it is likely to replace the latter in the future. Most premium smartphones and smartwatches already offer it, and more devices will follow suit soon.

Finally, this covers our SIM card vs eSIM comparison. Between these two options, which one do you prefer to use? Let us know your choice and its reason in the comments section below.

If you like this simple explainer, check out our Short Bytes section. We take complex tech topics and break them into short, easy-to-understand articles.

Priye Rai

Priye Rai

Priye is a tech writer at Fossbytes, who writes about gaming and anything remotely related to tech, including smartphones, apps, OTT, etc. He prefers to be called a "video game journalist" and grimaces when he doesn't get to be "Player 1." If you want to talk about games or send any feedback, drop him a mail at [email protected]