Digital eSIMs aren’t exactly new, but you still have to go in store to get one. But you may not need to with at least one telco.
Open up the SIM port on last year’s iPhones and you’ll find only one SIM tray, but if you want to use a second, Apple has support for an “eSIM”. A little bit different, an eSIM is an electronic SIM, providing an electronic form of identification for phones and tablets to jump onto a mobile network and provide connection.
It’s a relatively new technology, and part of how an Apple Watch connects to a mobile network, using a downloaded ID to get a device to have its own mobile number of sorts.
Using an eSIM means you don’t need to pop a physical SIM into a phone to make it connect, and can rely on a download instead, with newer eSIM-supported devices able to take advantage of the technology. But getting an eSIM has often meant going to a telco’s store and having it downloaded.
Optus is going for a different strategy this year, and will let Australians use an app to download an eSIM directly to their devices. It’s similar to some of the travel SIMs that offer the technology, but specific to a local telco, as Optus comes out as the first mobile network provider to get a digital eSIM purchased and downloaded using an app.
“Our customers want simplicity and convenience, which is why we are thrilled to extend our digital eSIM product and technology for new mobile customers,” said Clive Dickens, Vice President of TV, Content & Product Development at Optus.
“Buying a service with an Optus digital eSIM online offers a simple digital way of connecting to Optus without leaving your home or workplace,” he said.
While the idea of not leaving your home to get a phone connected is interesting, you’ll still need a recent phone to make an eSIM work, with the iPhone 11 range, Pixel 4 range and the Samsung Galaxy Fold, not to mention this year’s flagship Samsung range.