Qualcomm Designing new iSIM, Meant To Replace eSIMs, Which I Didn’t Know Needed Replacing

Posted on Thursday, Apr 20, 2023 by Chris Hayner

Featured in this episode of Chaos Lever

A SIM is the little card that you used to stick into the side of your cell phone and it would magically work. Get a new phone? Easy- take out the SIM, put it in the new phone- done. All of this convenience and flexibility was of course too much for cell phone companies, though, and in 2017 eSIMs were introduced.

These are the same exact thing as a regular SIM, except it’s permanently soldered to your devices’ motherboard. Not soldiered, mind you, thank you very much for that helpful hint autocorrect. Advantages: helps with waterproofing, etc, because less open space on the phone. Disadvantages: they’re a PITA, and when they fail, they fail HARD. Anyone who has had a change in service with an eSIM that didn’t go perfectly knows what I mean.

Qualcomm, designers of the super common Snapdragon line of device CPUs, is now creating a new version called the iSIM. They’re making it even smaller- the thing’s 1 millimeter square, and it’s a part of the SoC now. This, they tell us, will make iSIMs “98 percent smaller” and “50 percent cheaper” and that they use “up to 70 percent less power” than eSIMs, which all sounds pretty good. No word yet on whether Qualcomm will be helping with the nightmare that is over the internet provisioning.