Apple finally unveiled the iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro, and 14 Pro Max, and there are a lot of improvements that’ll make you want to trade in your current iPhone stat. But I wouldn’t be so quick to upgrade because there’s one “feature” that will make many of you rethink getting a new iPhone 14 series model.
Earlier this year, the third-generation iPhone SE became the first iPhone to omit support for 3G CDMA networks. While that was expected, the entire iPhone 14 lineup is missing a physical SIM card tray, which is a bit of a shock since there are still plenty of mobile virtual network operators that don’t even offer eSIM for prepaid plans.
For example, I have a physical SIM card from Page Plus that I pay a little over $3 monthly to use. My primary number’s area code is very similar to a local one in my area, so people are always calling the wrong number. To fix that, I got my number with that incorrect area code from Page Plus, and it simply forwards all calls and texts to my primary number.
If I were to get a new iPhone 14 series model, I’d have to keep a spare smartphone around to continue using the super cheap plan that doesn’t support eSIM.
Physical SIM cards are also used by frequent travelers who travel outside the U.S. and need a local phone number. Instead of expensive roaming charges, prepaid SIM cards are cheap and easy to swap in and out when you reach your destination. While some international prepaid SIM card providers support eSIM now, it will usually cost more than a local physical SIM card.
Also, setting up eSIM profiles on an iPhone can be more challenging if the carrier doesn’t give you a link to install the eSIM profile. T-Mobile shows a 16-step process for manually entering eSIM information compared to the five steps when using a link.
While eSIM is the way of the future, having a physical SIM card slot is still necessary until every carrier, prepaid and postpaid, jumps on board.
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