According to a new report by French site MacGeneration, the iPhone 15 models will launch without a physical SIM card slot in France this year. And as reported by MacRumors, the SIM tray will likely be removed in other European countries as well.
Is this a big deal? Apple moved to eSIMs for the iPhone 14 models in America, and we found it pretty easy to use when we set up our phones. An eSIM digitally stores your carrier information on the iPhone, which Apple says reduces the risk of damage, loss or theft.
Plus, you can install eight or more eSIMs on your iPhone and use two numbers at the same time. For example, you could use one eSIM for personal calls and one for business calls.
iPhone 15: Why adopt eSIM in Europe now?
Still, there's a reason why Apple didn't roll out eSIM support in Europe first. It's very common for people to pick up a new SIM card for their phone when they are traveling to a different country. And there's a much higher comfort level with swapping out SIM cards there.
However, one of our reporters tried traveling with an eSIM on a trip to France and Italy, and found the experience intuitive. She also found it easy to switch networks. You can also custom label your various active lines so it's easy to keep track of which is which.
Another reason Apple could be making this move with the iPhone 15's upcoming release is that more carriers appear to be embracing the feature. According to Apple's website, for example, five U.K. carriers support some form of eSIM activation on the iPhone, including EE, O2, Truphone, Ubigi and Vodafone.
Other big iPhone 15 changes
The SIM card tray isn't the only thing Apple is leaving on the cutting room floor. The biggest dropped feature is rumored to be the Lightning port, as the iPhone 15 is widely expected to feature a USB-C port instead. This is good news, but we've also heard that Apple may decide to reserve the fastest charging and transfer speeds for Apple-approved USB-C cables.
Also on the chopping block? That could be physical buttons, as the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max are tipped to feature haptic buttons instead. The volume buttons could become a volume rocker and the mute switch could become a button.
Other notable iPhone 15 upgrades include the Dynamic Island for all four models, meaning the end of the notch. But the iPhone 15 Pro devices are tipped for the biggest upgrades, including a titanium design, periscope zoom camera and faster and more efficient A17 Bionic chip.
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Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.