Google Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro Could Ditch Physical SIM Card Slot And Ship With eSIM Only

Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are expected to go official in October this year with a number of upgrades over their predecessors. Leaks so far have detailed hardware specifications of this year’s Pixel 8 lineup. Now, a report has surfaced online that suggests that the upcoming Pixel 8 handsets will ditch the physical SIM card slots in favour of eSIM. Through an eSIM, Pixel 8 users can connect to their carrier without a physical SIM card in their phone. Apple iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models in the US were also launched without a physical SIM card slot.

Renders of the vanilla Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro were leaked earlier this year by tipster Steve Hemmerstoffer (@OnLeaks) in collaboration with SmartPrix. Citing these images, tipster Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) claims that the Pixel 8 series might debut as eSIM-only smartphones, at least in some regions. Rahman explains the renders published are missing SIM card slots on the left side and suggests that this is not an accidental omission.

However, the SmartPrix report states that the Pixel 8 smartphones will have a SIM card tray on the left spine. OnLeaks told Rahman that anything his partners claim that isn’t announced in his tweet doesn’t come from him. This means that the speculation about the presence of the SIM slot on the phones’ left spine could be SmartPrix’s own interpretation of the renders.

Last year’s Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, and Pixel 7a smartphones feature SIM card slots on the left side.

Further, Rahman states that a Pixel 8 Pro video leaked by Kamila (@Za_Raczke) shows a SIM card tray on the left edge of the smartphone. So, the upcoming handset might ship with physical SIM slots as usual in most regions. Since these details have not yet been confirmed by Google, it is recommended to consider it with a grain of salt.

An eSIM is a digital version of the physical SIM card. They are embedded inside and allow users to connect to their carrier without a physical SIM card in their phones. If the leak holds any weight, then the Pixel 8 series might ship as Google’s first eSIM-only smartphone. Apple launched the eSIM-only iPhone 14 series in the US last year. However, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models are available with physical SIM card slots in several other regions.

Google I/O 2023 saw the search giant repeatedly tell us that it cares about AI, alongside the launch of its first foldable phone and Pixel-branded tablet. This year, the company is going to supercharge its apps, services, and Android operating system with AI technology. We discuss this and more on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.


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