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Qualcomm announces built-in iSIM support for Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 phones

Snapdragon 8 Gen Mobile Platform

It's been a while since Qualcomm began experimenting with the iSIM technology in partnership with Thales and Vodafone. Now at MWC 2023, the chipmaker announced certification of the world's first commercial iSIM on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform.

If you still haven't heard about it, iSIM (Integrated SIM) is the next-gen technology where the functionality of a SIM card is fused directly into a smartphone's main processor. This means that device-makers can save some valuable space inside smartphones and also reduce manufacturing costs. In contrast, eSIMs that we see on most devices out there need a dedicated chip to work.

According to Kaleido Intelligence, iSIM shipments are expected to reach 300 million by 2027, essentially complementing the eSIM and physical SIM market rather than becoming a complete replacement all of a sudden.

In recent years, eSIMs have already gained wide popularity, so much so that Apple released iPhone 14 without a physical SIM tray. However, for iSIM to become a household name, Qualcomm will have to introduce the tech in its low-end mobile processors as well.

SIM Card Comparison Chart

Speaking of benefits, iSIM consumes significantly less power than eSIM, making it a good fit for smaller electronic devices. It's even more difficult to access as the SIM information is embedded directly into the device's hardware.

Qualcomm said in its blog post that the iSIM is fully compliant with the GSMA Remote SIM Provisioning standard and it can be easily managed over the air using standard platforms. Companies are yet to reveal which smartphone models will feature the iSIM technology in the immediate future.

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