What is the difference between eSIM and iSIM?

The main differences between eSIM and iSIM are:

  • eSIM stands for “embedded SIM” while iSIM stands for “integrated SIM”. They refer to essentially the same type of technology.
  • eSIM is the more widely used and recognized term. It was coined by the GSM Association as the official name for embedded SIMs. iSIM is a proprietary term used initially by Apple.
  • Both eSIM and iSIM refer to a SIM chip that is integrated into the mobile device’s hardware rather than using a removable plastic SIM card.
  • The way they function is the same – carrier profiles are downloaded digitally using QR codes or downloaded apps rather than provisioned onto a physical SIM card.
  • iSIM is now only used by Apple to refer specifically to the embedded SIM in their newer iPhone models. eSIM is the more generic term used across the mobile industry.
  • eSIM can refer to the embedded chips by any device manufacturer that follow the GSMA specifications. iSIM is specific to Apple’s implementation only.
  • Both provide the same user benefits like remote provisioning, multiple profiles, and over the air transfers. The main difference is just the terminology.

So in summary, eSIM and iSIM refer to the same type of digital, embedded SIM technology. eSIM is the industry standard term while iSIM is Apple’s branding for their specific eSIM implementation. The user experience is essentially the same.

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