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TelnaFeb 20, 2024 10:38:22 AM5 min read

eSIM in 2024: Its Growing Adoption in Phones, Tablets, and Wearables

TELNA | eSIM in 2024: Its Growing Adoption in Phones, Tablets, Etc

eSIM, or embedded SIM, is a form of SIM card embedded directly into a device. It performs the same function as a traditional SIM, except it's programmable and physically connected to the device's motherboard.

The eSIM technology was originally developed by the GSMA in 2012 and started in the consumer sector with use cases in smart home devices, smartphones, tablets, and wearables.

There are two different kinds of eSIM: Data Only and Voice, SMS, and Data. Each has unique features and functionalities that will appeal to different types of users.


Looking at the incredible progress of eSIM

 The progress of eSIM technology has been significant. It was first introduced in the consumer market in 2016 and started gaining recognition when Apple launched its eSIM-only iPhone. Since then, other manufacturers and industries have steadily adopted the technology.

As of 2024, more than 260 operators have launched commercial eSIM service for smartphones. Analysts project that there will be about two billion eSIM devices in the hands of consumers by 2025. The baseline scenario predicts around 850 million eSIM smartphone connections globally by 2025, growing to 6.7 billion by 2030.

The progress on eSIM advances is steadily paving the way to the phasing out of traditional cards. The technology is expected to become a standard in all smartphones rather than being reserved only for flagship devices.

So clearly, eSIM technology has seen significant progress and adoption across various device categories. It offers numerous benefits, including the convenience of remote reprogramming, the ability to switch between network providers easily, and the potential for seamless global connectivity. As the technology continues to evolve, it is expected to become the new standard in mobile connectivity.


What devices currently support eSIM? 

Let's look more specifically at the devices that support eSIM. Frankly, if we're talking about a mid-range to high-end mobile phone or tablet released in the last couple of years – whether iOS or Android-based, chances are that it would support eSIM. It may well only support eSIM.

Wearables and laptops are a bit slower to catch up, and the same can be set for specific device categories.



 Smartphones were among the first consumer devices to adopt eSIM technology. Major manufacturers across the board have embraced eSIM, enabling users to switch between carriers and plans easily without needing physical SIM cards. This has simplified the process for international travel, carrier switching, and managing multiple numbers on a single device.

When talking iOS, you can rest assured that most Apple iPhones from the iPhone XR and XS onwards – including the 15 range, will support eSIM. That said, there are a few exceptions for iPhones sold in specific countries.

Likewise, for Android, the Galaxy S20 and onwards tend to support eSIM, as well as the Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip. Google's Pixel range has supported eSIM from the Pixel 3 and up, and Huawei started including eSIM support from the P40 series onwards. The latest OnePlus, Oppo, Motorola, and Nokia handsets also support eSIM.



Tablets with eSIM capabilities have followed closely behind smartphones, offering users cellular connectivity without a physical SIM card. This has made tablets more versatile as mobile devices, allowing for seamless connectivity on the go. The adoption of eSIM in tablets has been particularly beneficial for professionals and students who rely on constant internet access.

For iOS, the iPad Pro always supported eSIM, the original iPad supported eSIM from the 7th generation, and the iPad Mini supported eSIM from the 5th generation. Android support came later in many instances, but modern high-end Android tablets will most likely support eSIM.



Wearables, including smartwatches, have greatly benefited from eSIM technology. eSIM enables these devices to operate independently of a smartphone, allowing for calls, messages, and data usage without a connected phone nearby. This independence has enhanced the appeal of wearables for fitness tracking, mobile payments, and emergency communications.

Support is a bit more patchy, but you can rely on eSIM support with your Apple Watch from Series 3 onwards. Samsung's Galaxy Watch 3 and onwards also support eSIM.



The integration of eSIM into laptops has opened new possibilities for mobile computing. eSIM-enabled laptops allow for always-on connectivity, eliminating the need for Wi-Fi hotspots or external dongles. This is particularly advantageous for business professionals and digital nomads who require reliable internet access regardless of their location.

Now, mobile network connectivity tends to be an option in a limited selection of laptops – most laptops simply rely on Wi-Fi. That set, for example, the ThinkPad series from Lenovo, sometimes has a 4G or 5G modem built-in, and support stepped in from the ThinkPad X1 Gen 9, while the X1 Nano also has eSIM support. Likewise, Dell's Latitude business laptops offer eSIM in later models, while HP offers the same with its Elitebook range and select Asus and Acer models also offer eSIM capability.


IoT Devices

The Internet of Things (IoT) sector has seen one of the most significant impacts of eSIM technology. IoT devices, ranging from connected cars to smart meters and GPS trackers, benefit from the compact size and remote programmability of eSIMs. This has facilitated easier deployment, management, and scaling of IoT solutions across various industries.

It's a growing list of compatible IoT devices – think about everything from connected cars to industrial machinery to medical equipment and smart transportation.



The adoption of eSIM technology across these device categories has streamlined connectivity and offered unprecedented flexibility for users.

As eSIM becomes more widespread, it is expected to further revolutionize how devices connect to cellular networks, making physical SIM cards a thing of the past. The progression of eSIM technology continues to pave the way for a more connected and efficient future in mobile communications and IoT.

If you are a CSP or MNO and would like to take advantage of a flexible, API-driven eSIM platform, please contact Telna now to see how we can deliver the eSIM flexibility you need.




Telna provides Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), Communication Service Providers (CSPs), and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) with a fully managed global cellular connectivity platform. Telna has the largest 2G – 5G, LTE-M to over 800 radio network operators – 300 in direct partnerships – in 200 countries. Its global multi-network connectivity platform enables simplified integration to any platform and enables local break-out with localization that utilizes cloud infrastructure. With one integration to Telna’s platform, we have enabled millions of devices with multi-network connectivity, enabling innovative solutions in the cloud.