Never mind eSIMs — your next phone might have a more advanced way of connecting to your carrier. Qualcomm and Thales have confirmed the certification of the first user-ready Integrated SIM, or “iSIM.” It promises the same card-free digital sign-ups and security as eSIMs, but is built directly into a phone’s main processor. Your phone doesn’t need a dedicated chip, saving space and (hopefully) money.

The companies don’t say which phones will be the first to use iSIMs. The technology supports the same remote provisioning standard as eSIMs, however. Your provider won’t necessarily need to update its systems to support iSIM-based devices.

There’s no guarantee phone makers will pass any savings along to you. The reduced footprint could make room for slightly larger batteries and other components, though. More importantly, this might encourage more manufacturers to use digital SIMs by making the tech easier to implement. With that said, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is a high-end platform. You may not see wider adoption until more affordable chips (and thus lower-priced phones) offer iSIM support.

The timing is convenient, at least. Many phones now include eSIM support, while American iPhone 14 and 14 Pro models don’t have physical SIM trays. The conventional SIM card is on the decline, and iSIM could hasten that transition by making its virtual counterpart more commonplace.

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