European iPhone 15 models could be the next to lose the legacy SIM card tray

The upcoming iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models destined for European countries like France are rumored to ditch the SIM card tray and go all-in on eSIM technology.

Nano SIM card tray set against a gradient gold background
This is a Nano SIM card tray | Image: Christian Zibreg/iDB
  • What’s happening? The iPhone 15 models in the European Union will reportedly lack a SIM card tray Apple ditched with the iPhone 14 in the United States.
  • Why care? Going eSIM-only could create problems for tourists visiting Europe who are accustomed to swapping SIM cards when switching countries.
  • What to do? Ask your local carrier if they offer electronic SIM cards instead of physical ones, and buy one to familiarize yourself with the technology.

The iPhone 15 models could lose SIM card trays in Europe

According to a report from French publication, eSIM could be the only option for would-be iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro buyers in Europe.

Buoyed by the iPhone 14’s smooth transition to eSIM technology in the United States, where these devices lack a SIM card tray, Apple is said to have decided to offer phones without SIM card trays in other countries.

This may also present obstacles in Europe, where each summer, millions of tourists from all over the world flock to enjoy the warm weather, the beaches, fine food and vine, and some of the oldest sights in the history of our civilization.

Unless you’re doing all your summer traveling within the European Union, you could be in for a surprise if a carrier in the country outside of the European Union that you plan on visiting only offers physical SIM cards.

Not all carriers are ready for eSIM

Many people like to keep their mobile phone number as an eSIM and have the freedom to just pop a foreign physical SIM card in order to avoid roaming data charges in the country they’re visiting. And in some places like Dubai, for example, tourists can only get physical SIM cards upon arrival at customs.

Apple is a bit ahead of the curve here and some wireless operators will definitely need to update themselves. But you never know, as in other places like Cambodia, carriers are already eSIM-compatible.

The advantages of eSIM include space savings inside the device for other features like bigger batteries, the ability to use multiple mobile phone numbers and services, easy carrier switching, potential waterproofing benefits, less plastic waste, etc.

Helpful iPhone SIM tutorials