eSIM, which is featured in phones like the iPhone 12, is finally starting to gain some traction against the physical SIM card.
A new study by Juniper Research has found that eSIM installations is expected to grow from 1.2 billion in 2021 to 3.4 billion in 2025, a growth of 180%. eSIM, as opposed to a traditional SIM, is built directly into devices, enabling cellular connectivity without a physical card.
The new research, eSIMs: Sector Analysis, Emerging Opportunities & Market Forecasts 2021-2025, independently assessed eSIM adoption and demand in the consumer sector, industrial sector, and public sector, and predicts that the consumer sector will account for 94% of global eSIM installations by 2025. It anticipates that established adoption of eSIM frameworks from consumer device vendors, such as Apple and Google, will accelerate the growth of eSIMs in consumer devices ahead of the industrial and public sectors.
According to the report, that kind of growth in adoption will, however, take collaboration between network operators and hardware manufacturers.
The research found that global eSIM deployments across all consumer verticals will increase by 170% over the next four years, with widespread adoption reliant on backing from network operators. It urges device manufacturers to place pressure on operators to support eSIM frameworks and accelerate market maturation.
However, a fragmentation of hardware vendors in the cellular IoT device market will require each vertical to adopt a combination of wireless technologies, hardware, and management tools. In turn, it predicts that specialist vendors will emerge that provide robust eSIM form factors for industrial environments.
The iPhone 12 lineup currently supports eSIM in a number of countries and devices like the Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE are also eSIM-exclusive devices.
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