Apple iPhone 6s: Why no eSIM?

Brodie Fogg 10 September 2015

Though many rumours swirled, the eSIM is nowhere to be found among Apple’s announcements.

The newly-announced iPhone 6s is free of Australia tax and has lots of new features, but one of the most widely rumoured -- the elimination of the SIM card in favour of a virtual "eSIM" – isn't part of the new phone.

iPhone launch rumours often prove wide of the mark, but the notion of an eSIM had more credibility than most. Apple has already implemented its own version of the eSIM – the Apple SIM – on the iPad, although it has only done so in the US. There's a new iPad model, the iPad Pro, on the way, but so far its main impact has been raising the price on other iPad models. The iPhone, meanwhile, is sticking with its existing nano-SIM approach.

eSIMs really aren't all that difficult to implement from a technological perspective. But that's where we hit a road hump. Sure, it's easy enough to implement, but what’s the point in kicking off this crazy new idea if you don't have the support of the world's major mobile carriers?

It seems the eSIM, much like Apple Pay, is going to remain a mirage for Aussies (and possibly the world) until carriers see a benefit in the technology.

What is an eSIM?

An eSIM, if it does come to fruition, would come in the form of an embedded SIM (encased in the device’s hardware) – the information on it being completely rewritable by mobile carriers. This means that not only is it completely unnecessary to remove the SIM card from the mobile device, but that users could switch mobile providers simply by making a phone call. This negates the need to order a physical SIM to replace your current carrier, and it also means wait times for porting your number from one carrier to another would be drastically reduced. This would be great news for emerging providers, and potentially bad news for Australia's major carriers.

The idea of an eSIM was originally put forward by the Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA) – a group that represents the interests of mobile carriers worldwide – but rumours have recently emerged that the two biggest mobile device manufacturers, Apple and Samsung, have negotiated with major mobile carriers to support embedded SIM cards in future smartphone releases.

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Disclaimer: At we provide factual information and general advice. Before you make any decision about a product read the Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate for you.
Rates and fees mentioned in comments are correct at the time of publication.
By submitting this question you agree to the privacy policy, receive follow up emails related to and to create a user account where further replies to your questions will be sent.

2 Responses to Apple iPhone 6s: Why no eSIM?

  1. Default Gravatar
    Tom | March 25, 2016

    When is eSim going to be adopted by Optus and Telstra? Why are these providers always behind the 8th.ball as far as IT is concerned?

    Please inform when eSim is adopted by O & T



    • Staff
      Alex | April 1, 2016

      Hi Tom,

      Neither Optus or Telstra have given any indication of adopting the eSIM standard at this point in time, or indeed much interest in doing so. It could happen, but it seems unlikely.



Ask a question