Apple could release its first-ever dual SIM iPhone this year, in a move which would be a boon for business travellers.
A report from Bloomberg places a twin-SIM iPhone X or iPhone 9 on the company's launch list for 2018, which is said to include an upsized iPhone X – codenamed D33 – with a screen close to 6.5 inches, making it "one of the largest mainstream smartphones on the market" thanks to an edge-to-edge display.
But among many other teasing details, the kicker is that "at least some regions, Apple is considering offering a dual-SIM card option for the larger model."
"That would let people use their phones in countries with different carrier plans without having to swap out cards."
Bloomberg cites markets in Europe and Asia "where business people routinely visit multiple countries," although the adoption of pan-European roaming has pretty much put the kibosh on SIM swapping for residents and many travellers.
However, dual-SIM smartphones are certainly popular in Asia and also with road warriors who regularly flit between their home territory and different Asian countries.
Several leading manufacturers of Android smartphones – among them Samsung and Sony – sell dual-SIM models only in selected overseas countries, although others including Huawei and LG offer dual-SIM devices on the Australian market.
But don't get too excited at the thought of swapping nano-SIMs in and out of your next-gen iPhone: Apple could hold off on using physical SIM cards in favour of eSIM technology, which connect a phones to multiple networks without the need for a removable chip – although undoubtedly with a price premium for switch-on-and-connect convenience.
"Apple has wanted to offer eSIM technology – it already exists in the iPad and Apple Watch – but some carriers are resistant to including it in iPhones, and Apple needs their support," Bloomberg notes. "A dual-SIM capability would provide a compromise."