iPhone with eSIM only option is even more secure. find how


Mall Indians were worried that they could not ask a loved one or friend to bring them an iPhone 14 from the United States because the device that was just launched would not work on Indian networks. Why? Because the iPhone 14 which will be sold in the United States does not have a SIM card slot. The device will connect to the cellular network using an e-SIM, a technology that has been around for a few years but is escaping markets like India when it comes to mass adoption. Some fear that this will allow Apple or carriers to lock the phone to a particular network or region. But it could also happen to phones with SIM cards. That’s why a carrier-unlocked version of the iPhone is also sold in markets like the United States.

But the unlocked iPhone can still be purchased in the United States.

You will even get an international warranty and it will be cheaper than what you will pay in India. The US model will arguably be more secure as you’ll be forced to use an e-SIM, which are software-defined SIM cards pre-built into the device activated from the iPhone’s settings interface. Airtel, Jio and Vodafone all offer e-SIM facilities and are integrated with the iPhone. So don’t worry.

Why do I insist on security? Well, for starters, the iPhone is already a tough phone for a thief to crack. Even the old iPhone 5C from 2013 was a secure device to crack – something even the FBI in the US experienced when Apple refused to break into a phone recovered from a dead terrorist. Over the years, with the addition of features like Face ID and Apple’s encryption improvements, it has only gotten harder.

With the combination of Apple’s Secure Enclave security protocol on the A-series processor, Face ID and the Find My iPhone system, this is not only a very secure device to break into, but one that can also be easily followed. When you remove the SIM card tray and map a SIM card through software, it makes the job even harder for the person trying to break in. Heck, you can map multiple SIM cards through e-SIM technology on newer iPhones.

Often what happens is that a stolen iPhone is rendered unusable after the password is entered incorrectly ten times in a row. But what if the numeric password was something as simple as 1,2,3,4 or 0,0,0,0? Then the phone can be hacked – but with the iPhone 14, the person has to break into your iCloud ID, which most likely has a more complex password. And add to that, a SIM card mapped to a network in the name of a particular owner will further increase the complexity.

“The growth of eSIMs will revolutionize the way connectivity between devices will be enabled and managed. The e-SIM’s compact form factor offers significant space reduction for device manufacturers as well as security, potentially higher reprogrammability and power efficiency compared to traditional SIM card solutions,” says Satyajit Sinha, research analyst at Counterpoint Research in a 2019 research paper.

As Sinha points out for Apple, the primary motivation is saving space and one less moving part, but the security benefits cannot be ignored. Of course, for security to be a thing, telecom operators will have to do their part for user identification. But that’s the easy part.

These are user-centric features that are often not found in ad campaigns. And that’s what separates Apple from the rest. The iPhone 14 series also introduces “Collision Detection” which works through a suite of motion sensors, a new dual-core accelerometer and a new gyroscope which can detect impacts from a car crash up to 256G and Automatically connect to emergency services and notify them of the exact location of the accident.

For US users, the iPhone 14 now has satellite phone connectivity, which works despite no cellular network. Imagine you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere or maybe you’ve gone on a hike and want your mom to know exactly where you are via GPS. The device will sync with Find My iPhone accessible from any Apple device or iCloud.com on the web.

But more than anything, the fact that Apple has removed the SIM card from US models means it is testing the waters which could mean a complete removal of the SIM tray from all iPhones in India as time goes on. It has already removed the SIM tray for cellular iPads for models sold in India.

The e-SIM technology is already used on smartwatches like the Apple Watch or the Samsung Galaxy Watch and also on our four wheels for connected car functionality. This is the smartphone where the e-SIM lags behind, but Apple’s decisions could change the status quo.

Apple as a pioneer could pave the way for other smartphone manufacturers, which would make it much more difficult to steal smartphones across the board.

Sahil Mohan Gupta is a Delhi-based tech journalist with over a decade of experience. He tweets @DigitallyBones. Views are personal.

(Edited by Anurag Chaubey)


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