A new proof of concept demonstration made by Qualcomm and Vodafone revealed a working smartphone equipped with Smartphone Integrated SIM (iSIM) technology (via Neowin). The demonstration was made using a modified Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G whose Snapdragon 888 chip has a built-in Qualcomm Secure Processing Unit. Unlike eSIM, which uses a separate chip, iSIM uses the phone’s own system chip.Qualcomm believes that embedding the SIM into the device SoC will allow ‘greater system integration, higher performance, and increased memory capacity.’ Doing so would also free up additional space in the phone’s housing.
According to Qualcomm, iSIM may also be implemented in various devices like laptops, tablets, VR headsets, and wearables, enabling customers to use cellular technology on most of their devices.
In a statement regarding the iSIM technology and the demonstration, Qualcomm said, “iSIM solutions offer great opportunities to MNOs (Mobile Network Operators), free-up valuable space in devices for OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers), and provide flexibility for device users to benefit from the full potential of 5G networks and experiences across a wide range of device categories. Some of the areas that will benefit most from iSIM technology include smartphones, mobile PCs, VR/XR headsets, and industrial IoT (Internet of Things). By engineering the iSIM technology into the SoC, we are able to create additional support for OEMs in our Snapdragon platform.”
Vodafone also made a statement, saying, “Our aim is to create a world where every device connects seamlessly and simply to each other, and the customer has complete control. The iSIM, combined with our remote management platform, is a major step in this direction.” Vodafone also said that iSIM would enable its customers to use multiple accounts on one device.
Currently, there is no information from Qualcomm when we could expect the iSIM technology to be implemented into a commercial device.