The mobile world has slowly been adopting eSIM support over many years, letting you ditch the physical SIM card you’ve used from phone to phone and instead bring your number with you digitally. The idea of an eSIM makes a lot of sense, especially for those who travel, want to test out a new carrier, or who want to keep a second line active on their device. They also mean not having to keep track of a tiny little piece of plastic that can be lost, stolen, broken, etc. For a phone maker, getting rid of the old physical SIM slot leaves more space for them to improve internal phone design. Overall, eSIMs are a big win for the industry.
That doesn’t mean they are perfect, though. Setting up an eSIM can be a huge pain. As an example, I have yet to take advantage of eSIM on the Verizon or T-Mobile lines I keep active because I have to first call each of them to get eSIM activated on my account. I’d rather sit in an ice bath or eat a mouthful of flour rather than jump through that additional hoop, which involves a customer support line through a wireless carrier.
The other issue with an eSIM is that they aren’t that easy to switch over to a new phone. To setup an eSIM on a new phone, you have to walk through a series of steps through a half-baked browser within your phone’s settings. It typically pushes you through the login process of your carrier and more. It’s not great. Swapping over a physical SIM card is quite a bit easier to do.
Today, Google announced that it will add an eSIM transfer capability to Android that will allow users “to quickly and securely transfer their mobile plan to a new device.” It’ll arrive later this year, first through Deutsche Telekom.
As of today, that’s all that Google has said about it, so we don’t know just how simple this could be. Is this a tap-to-transfer type of tool or still something that involves a multi-step account access process through your carrier? They said it’ll work “quickly,” so I’ll try to remain optimistic about it.
I’m actually very, very curious to learn more. If you are the type who swaps phones frequently, eSIM has been tough to adopt. I’m hoping this changes that.