With more mobile operators adding support for the eSIM on Android devices one has to wonder if we're going to see greater cooperation with the Google Fi. One thing for sure, the elimination of the physical SIM, greater availability of Pixel devices which support the eSIM, plus the new iOS devices, all points to more excellent choices.
The availability of the eSIM and Dual SIM devices also signals a long-term decline in device sales, as people who used to need to carry two phones-one for work, one for personal, or who choose to as a way to get around coverage issues, will only really need one.
Then there's the news that Microsoft is considering adding phone service to PCs. Given there's already LTE data in devices, it's not a big reach to see voice calling circuitry to be added to LTE and the future 5G devices. I've always wanted voice on my tablets. The idea of an iPad Mini or the original Android tablets with real voice capabilities vs. VoIP over 3G, 4G and now LTE has always been something I felt was needed. A few years back a Samsung's Galaxy Tab was sold with this functionality. While it was bulky compared to an iPad, the device was a real cult favorite.
As eSIMs proliferate from the iPhone to iPads, and from Pixels to, Pixelbooks and Slates, the idea of voice calling and real texting is a panacea. With wireless headsets also being more the norm than the exception, and smaller, longer lasting earbuds coming to market, other opportunities will arise.
- One Number on Multiple Devices-instead of multiple accounts, much like Google FI, you'll pay for a single account and all your data and calls are under that account.
- You Won't Need Google Voice to ring all devices-much like T-Mobile's app that lets you ring multiple devices when one number is called. The eSIM will allow you to register with your account, much like the way Skype does on as many devices as you want to.
- Work Device vs. Home vs. Play Device - At work, you likely need a big screen and a keyboard. At home, you're probably more in lean-back mode, so a tablet with an attachable keyboard is more appropriate than a full-size computer. When playing, a smartwatch and an earbud or even just a small credit card size smartphone-sized device with a bright screen is all you need. With the eSIM based account access, there's still no need for a different mobile number on each. Instead, you're always connected, which is where rules-based calling will be enriched. So instead of phones, we have "connected" voice and text capable devices.
- Your TV is your Next Phone-an eSIM inside a smart TV means calls can come into the TV. Text messages pop up (if you want them to) on the screen, Caller ID info and your remote becomes a speakerphone. Directional mics become more of a regular feature. The on-screen program can be programmed to pause, and you can move the call between devices, much like I do with Dialpad today, but with 5G it will be a seamless, no lag handover.
- Echos and Google Homes become phones. The Home Hub and Echo Spots and Shows become more useful. Screens for text, voice to reply. Choice of voice to text or voice to voice messages, calling, voice mail.
With an eSIM, which is nothing more than software inside, the future is exciting, and we'll be even more connected.