Analyst company ABI Research predicted more than 225 million eSIM-capable smartphones would be shipped this year, fuelled by the launch of the Samsung S20 range, as the technology pushes further into mainstream devices.
In a report, digital security research director Phil Sealy said: “Having the largest smartphone OEM on board, shipping over 200 million devices annually is a significant market step”. He said all eyes will now be on the South Korean vendor “and how it might start expanding eSIM support to other device ranges, including its Note and A- ranges”.
Apple’s inclusion of eSIM compatibility for the iPhone XR and XS range in 2018 was also marked as a key milestone for the eSIM segment.
The analyst company tipped shipments of compatible smartphones to hit at least 500 million in 2024, as more vendors deploy the technology: Sealy noted Apple, Google, Samsung and Motorola are currently the only vendors to offer compatible devices, while operators are only just starting to get behind the standard.
ABI Research expects customer mobile subscriptions to shift from data-centric billing towards bundles involving devices, as connectivity expands to new products beyond smartphones
Sealy said vendors including Samsung “have an integral role to play” in enabling the shift, noting manufacturers “want to provide flexibility to their consumer device users and create further brand stickiness” in the form of a range of connected devices “using eSIM as the enabling technology”.