Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Apple Watch news

When Apple released the cellular-capable Apple Watch Series
3 in September, it didn’t realize that a tiny component — its
next-generation embedded SIM card (eSIM) — would lead China
to quickly and abruptly cut off Apple Watch phone service within
its borders. This morning, the cellular Apple Watch belatedly
became available to order in China’s Hong Kong territory and
Singapore, spotlighting the surprising challenges eSIM faces as
it becomes critical to next-generation wearables and 5G devices,
replacing the 25-year-old traditional SIM card.

Nothing about eSIMs would appear to justify governmental
panic. Physical SIM cards spent decades shrinking from
full-sized to mini, micro, and nano cards before the GSM
Association approved eSIM, an even smaller, trayless,
permanently installed successor. The innovation enabled
Apple Watch Series 3 to gain only 0.25mm of thickness
despite integrating a complete cellular communications

eSIMs benefit from 25 years of technological improvement over the original SIM. Embedded SIMs are carrier-agnostic and rewritable, capable of being activated and managed remotely using over-the-air updates. That means carriers no longer need to send cards to device makers or individual customers, and consumers don’t need to make post-purchase visits to carrier stores; devices can just join an available network after turning on. eSIMs also enable seamless network switching: You can change carriers as needed, including during international travel. Indeed, eSIMs are eventually expected to end international roaming charges.

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