This is such a garbage article from who should know better. It represents eSIMs as an unalloyed good. Not one disadvantage is named. It’s practically a fucking advertisement for the industry. Makes me think it was paid for by a telco lobby it’s so lopsided.

@paco Hmm, most I've ever read about eSIMs looked good (and also was an advert). Could you recommend something mre balanced/negative to read?

@barnaba I'll mention a few things. With physical SIMs, you can walk into a store, hand over currency and walk out with a SIM. No identity required and minimal connection between that SIM and your real identity. Plenty of people have misgivings about anonymity, but in an increasingly fascist, authoritatrian state, anonymity needs to be preserved. I don't see how "eSIMs" will get activated without online payments tied very much to real identities. We will lose anonymity via eSIMs.

I have a single, unlocked iPhone and multiple SIMs for multiple countries. When I've visited countries like Turkey, I buy a local physical SIM and toss it into my phone. It's virtually always the cheapest option. In the UK I can get unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, and 15G of data for £15 (about US$20). That's substantially cheaper than the "international roaming" that I could get from my US mobile provider.

With an eSIM I would be locked into whatever service levels the mobile carriers want to offer, and I will struggle to take advantage of local offers.

A real, physical, unlocked phone is more like a device I own. I can physically connect a SIM and anything I can make a SIM do, my phone can do. An eSIM is going to have APIs and access methods controlled by an international consortium of the wealthiest telco enterprises. It is an anti-maker, anti-owner technology.

Already it has been discovered that iPhones are somewhat "on" even when "off". With an eSIM, it is possible that perhaps your phone is never really OFF off, but is only sort of OFF, and is actively communicating with the telco network, using an electronic identifier tightly bound to your real identity. It's a fabulous tool for a surveillance state to track everyone who has a phone--which is basically everyone.

That's what I could think of off the top of my head on a Friday morning. Now do you see how credulous that ad for eSIMs was?

@paco I see.

I thought you at least could have multiple eSIMs stored if not active? So that should actually make switching cards to avoid roaming costs easier, not harder?

Most of those really only become a problem 20 years down the road, when classic SIMs get extinct. e.g. anonimity will be an issue then, but right now being able to buy an e-sim from a different country instantly via app is a real nice option to have for anonimity. Sure, that other country knows how I paid for the (...)

@paco esim, but it might not be willing to share. It's not as safe as hauling physical cards from a country that doesn't require cards registred in tracable ways, but it's a lot faster.

I don't get it. You buy an eSIM using an App and you think there's some anonymity in there? That App has no idea who you are? It lives on your phone. How are you paying for something -using an app- and maintaining any kind of anonymity? Credit cards? ApplePay/GooglePay/etc.? None of those payment systems have anything CLOSE to anonymity. There is no anonymity if you pay with an App on your phone.

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