Apple’s next set of iPhones are due for unveiling about a month or so from now, and details have already begun leaking. One of the major reveals happens to come from Apple itself, albeit inadvertently.
Staff at the Apple-centric site 9to5Mac dug through the codes of Apple’s iOS 12 beta build and found references to “second SIM status,” meaning there is a good chance the upcoming iPhones will finally offer dual SIM card support.
This is going to be huge for me, and I reckon many Hongkongers and Europeans.
As someone who lives in Hong Kong but travels to China just about every week–and just someone who travels often in general–I have struggled to make the iPhone X my daily driver (a.k.a. main phone) precisely because it only supports one SIM card while all my Android handsets can handle two.
On days that I’m using an iPhone and heading for China, I have to stop at the border, pull out the tiny SIM tray ejector tool (the little pin/needle thing) and then manually take out my Hong Kong SIM card and insert a China SIM card. That’s a whole lot of fiddling with tiny things. When I have an Android on me, both Hong Kong and China SIM are already inside the phone and switching is a matter of two or three taps on the screen. Heck, if I want, I could even run both SIMs full time and forego the tapping altogether.
The lack of a second SIM tray on an iPhone has annoyed me for years, but I’ve never held it against Apple in any of my reviews, because I understand that the cultural divide between America and, well, the rest of the world is quite large. People in Hong Kong, and I suspect many countries in Europe, need dual SIM trays because we travel internationally so often. Americans don’t cross borders nearly as much and most of them are on phones that lock to a carrier anyway, so swapping SIMs is no option at all.
This is why U.S. tech sites and reviewers often look at dual SIM phones like it’s a quirky, inessential feature, while people in Hong Kong will always prefer to buy dual SIM variants of phones. On the secondhand phone resale market, any dual SIM variant of Samsung or LG phones are worth 20 to 30% more than the single version.
If you’re wondering whether to trust iOS 12 beta software code, know that this wouldn’t be the first time Apple has accidentally revealed future hardware plans. Apple infamously leaked a shape of the iPhone X in the HomePod’s firmware. And dig deep enough into iOS 12 beta and you’ll also find an icon that hints at a new iPad Pro with slimmer bezels.
I’m inclined to trust the findings by 9to5Mac. For me, the combination of dual SIM support and a larger screen may just be enough to sway me back to the Apple side.
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I’m a Chinese-American journalist in Hong Kong, covering consumer tech in Asia. Before focusing on this exciting beat, I was a general culture writer and editor with bylines in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, New York Magazine, among others.
Source : Forbes
Contributor : Ben Sin