Google’s pitch for its new Pixel 2 smartphones — not to mention other new smart home offerings from the company — has tended to focus on their sophisticated software. But there is one highly innovative feature of the Pixel 2 that Google has kept up its sleeve. In a new blog post, Google’s Joy Xi has revealed that the Pixel 2 is the first phone in the world to feature an embedded SIM.
The innovative technology has in recent months been of growing interest to the telecom industry as major conglomerates and their affiliates around the world have prepared for the shift to 5G internet, and sought to adapt to the emerging Internet of Things. The idea is to build SIMs directly into connected devices, and to make those SIMs reprogrammable so that there’s no need to physically replace them when switching between mobile subscriptions. In other words, if you switch from Verizon to Sprint, you don’t need to take your phone into the shop to have the SIM replaced; you just switch to the new provider using the device’s standard interface.
This eSIM technology has already started to appear in computer devices, but Google has evidently beaten others to the punch in the smartphone sector. Still, the broader industrial architecture isn’t yet in place: You can’t just switch from Verizon to Sprint on the Google Pixel 2 — not exactly. That’s because as far as eSIM technology goes, the device only supports Project Fi, Google’s mobile network service that lets users switch between participating carrier services on the fly. Still, with three major US carriers supported (including Sprint!), and data services offered in 135 countries and territories, the functionality helps to demonstrate the potential of eSIM technology. And Joy Xi — Project Fi’s Product Manager — says that Google is looking forward to “working together with industry partners to encourage more widespread adoption,” which could in turn lead to more excitement for the Pixel 2 among consumers.
Source: The Keyword