QTECH – On Wednesday, Apple announced its latest iPhone, #14, preserving much of the iPhone 13’s design, that will be available to pre-order this Friday, with an official release on September 16.
While going over all the new features in the iPhone 14 on Wednesday, Apple snuck in a little detail that was easy to miss: These new phones won’t come with physical SIM card trays anymore — well, not in the United States.
In the U.S., the standard iPhone 14 model starts at $799, and the 14 Plus starts at $899. But there’s a new hidden cost on top of the price tag, at least for those who want to travel to places like Costa Rica.
While this will likely go unnoticed by a majority of Americans as they go about their daily lives, anyone who travels outside the United States will notice this new headache right away.
Buying a local SIM card at the airport in Costa Rica has long been the easiest way to avoid roaming fees, but that’s not possible with the iPhone 14 purchased in the U.S.
So wait.. how am I supposed to travel with an iPhone now? Meaning.. do what I do every week. I don’t wanna pay for roaming fees. What if I wanna use a foreign SIM? Like WTF!
— Jaime Rivera (@Jaime_Rivera) September 7, 2022
While it is possible to buy foreign eSim access, but not for every carrier in every country. Costa Rica is not (at least not yet) on the list of wireless carriers that offer eSIM service. Visitors from the U.S. with an iPhone 14, will most likely be stuck without the ability to avoid roaming charges.
I’m sorry I can’t get over this. So first it was the headphone jack, Apple just made that a thing and it was a big pain for a bit. Now no SIM card so if you’re traveling, you’re forced to pay for international roaming on your eSIM from US carriers?! #AppleEvent
— Joshua Vergara (@jvtechtea) September 7, 2022
While the new iPhone 14 lineup will ship without physical SIM trays in the US, outside the US, the iPhone 14 lineup still includes nano-SIM slots.
Is the lack of a physical tray a big deal? And is it user-hostile and stupid?
The ability to have more than one active eSIM is great for frequent travelers. However, physical SIMs make it easy to bring your phone to a different carrier, such as the three in Costa Rica: Kolbi, Claro and Liberty.
Physical SIMs work on all phones and are easy enough to use (though also easy to lose).
For more details about the new iPhone, check out the Apple announcement.