Samsung is taking the leap into eSIM technology by introducing a new version of the Gear S2 smartwatch. The Samsung Gear S2 classic 3G will take advantage of the technology by allowing for GSM connections without the need for a physical SIM card. It looks to be the first consumer device that has a GSMA certified eSIM, and could be an indication of where Samsung is headed.
Samsung has worked with telcos around the world on establishing a technical specification that would allow users to download a mobile operator’s profile to eSIM powered companion devices. This capability was rumoured to be on the original Gear S2 classic, but it seems that working with the GSMA and telcos has taken a lot longer than Samsung had originally expected. Aside from the addition of the eSIM, the Gear S2 classic 3G is essentially the same device as the regular Gear S2 classic.
At the moment, it looks like Samsung has been the first out the door with eSIM technology. Apple has been rumoured to be working on its own eSIM; although it is unknown how far long the company has gotten with getting it certified. One thing for certain is that the company will inevitably hoist it on the public through a future incarnation of the iPhone.
Whether Samsung will beat Cupertino to the punch with an eSIM enabled smartphone is unknown. Few operators are compatible with the technology at the moment, although Samsung lists a few of its partners like M1 Limited, Orange, Singtel, StarHub Ltd., Telefónica, TeliaSonera, and Vodafone Group. It shouldn’t be too long before we hear something about this from local telcos as well.
There is no pricing for the new Gear S2 classic 3G, but it is expected to start hitting compatible markets in March 2016.