Multiple eSIMs may be supported by Android 13
To connect to cellular networks, phones have historically utilised physical SIM cards, but the transition to a digital equivalent known as eSIM has been sluggish.
One of the reasons we haven't seen more phones ditch the SIM card slot fully is because Android's support for multiple eSIMs is lacking, which must be addressed before most manufacturers can make the transition. The impending Android 13 release looks to be building the foundation for this.
According to Esper, the Android 13 codebase includes an implementation of a patent submitted by Google in 2020 that permits several SIM profiles to be utilised on a single integrated chip.
This is accomplished by dividing the single physical data bus that connects the modem and eSIM chip into many logical interfaces that are multiplexed on a single physical interface. It's similar to how most current CPUs divide physical CPU cores into logical CPU cores to allow for more activities to be executed at the same time.
In contrast to traditional SIM cards, which require a huge slot on the side of a phone or tablet, eSIM requires only a tiny component on the device's motherboard.
This frees up space in the phone for a bigger battery, camera hardware, or whatever else you choose. However, there haven't been many phones that have done away with the actual SIM card slot altogether — partly because many carriers still don't accept eSIM, and partly because many smartphones marketed overseas require two SIMs of some sort.
Two eSIMs are an option available on the iPhone 13 series, although they increase complexity.
Google hasn't made any public statements regarding this capability, but if it does remain in Android 13 for the final version, we'll certainly hear more about it shortly. As long as carriers can be persuaded, the new feature might lead to more widespread eSIM support across phones.
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