3.5 mn eSIM-capable smartphones to ship in India in 2020: CMR

(IANS) With Samsung embracing eSIM technology made popular by Apple and Google, shipments of eSIM-capable smartphones are set to double in India in 2020 to top 3.5 million units, according to a projection by CyberMedia Research (CMR) on Monday.

“eSIM-capable smartphones have slowly gained traction over the past two years, with 2019 clearly emerging as a landmark year with eSIMs gaining prominence in India. This can be traced to the success Apple enjoyed in India with its recent iPhone launches, including the XR and iPhone 11, among others,” Anand Priya Singh, Analyst — Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR, said in a statement.

The shipments of eSIM phones quadrupled from a quarter of a million in 2018 to 1.5 million in 2019, with Apple contributing the most.

Apple accounted for nearly 98 percent of the eSIM phones shipped in India, with three out of its five phones supporting eSIM.

While Google was the first to launch eSIM capable smartphones, such as the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2XL in late 2017, the eSIM ecosystem got a significant boost with Apple”s embrace of the technology in its premium smartphones in 2018, including the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max.

The phones feature dual SIM technology with both a Nano-SIM and an eSIM.

With new players, such as Samsung, also embracing eSIM in its uber-premium Galaxy Fold, and its other flagship smartphones, including the Samsung S20, the shipments of eSIM capable smartphones are set to grow.

“With Samsung embracing eSIM technology, and introducing it in the Galaxy Fold, and other smartphones, and Apple building on its recent momentum in India, we foresee a dramatic spike in eSIM-enabled phone shipments in 2020,” said Prabhu Ram, Head — Industry Intelligence Group, CMR.

“On the back of Apple and Samsung”s support for eSIM-capable phones, other Android OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) will also aim to launch phones with eSIM capabilities. This, should in fact, be on top of OEM agenda alongside 5G phones,” he added.

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