The mobile world has been slowly rolling out eSIM support over the years, allowing you to ditch the physical SIM you used from phone to phone and instead carry your number around digitally. The idea of an eSIM makes a lot of sense, especially for those who travel, want to test a new carrier, or want to keep a second line active on their device. It also means they don’t have to keep track of a tiny piece of plastic that can get lost, stolen, broken, etc. For a phone maker, getting rid of the old physical SIM slot leaves them more room to improve the phone’s internal design. Overall, eSIM is a big win for the industry.
However, this does not mean that they are perfect. Setting up an eSIM can be a huge hassle. For example, I have yet to take advantage of eSIM on Verizon or T-Mobile lines, which I leave active because I need to call each one first to activate the eSIM on my account. I’d rather sit in an ice bath or eat flour than jump through that extra hoop that includes a customer support line through a wireless carrier.
Another problem with eSIMs is that they are not easy to switch to a new phone. To set up an eSIM on a new phone, you’ll need to follow a series of steps through a crude browser in your phone’s settings. This usually pushes you through your carrier’s login process and more. It’s not great. Replacing the physical SIM card is a little easier.
Google today announced that it will be adding eSIM portability to Android, which will allow users to “quickly and securely transfer their mobile plan to a new device.” It will appear later this year, first through Deutsche Telekom.
As of today, that’s all Google has said about it, so we don’t know how easy it can be. Is it a click-to-transfer tool, or is it something that involves a multi-step process of accessing an account through your carrier? They said it would work “quickly” so I’ll try to stay optimistic about it.
I’m actually very, very curious to know more. If you’re someone who changes phones frequently, you’ll find it difficult to accept an eSIM. I hope this changes that.