A Dual SIM iPhone May be Coming, but Only in China

By Tom Pritchard on at

If you need to have a dedicated number for work, and don't fancy having to carry around two phones, a dual SIM phone is pretty much essential. They're not exactly uncommon, but there's one big company that has continually snubbed allowing its customers to add an extra SIM card to their phones: Apple. That might be changing when it releases new devices later this year, but the bad news is the coveted dual SIM model might be an Chinese exclusive.

A report from Economic Daily News claims that there's only going to be one dual SIM iPhone hitting the market this year, in the form of the new 6.1-inch LCD iPhone that's been rumoured for a while. In other words, not the XI and the XI Plus that have been doing the rounds on the rumour mill. That same report claims that this phone is only due for release in China, with everyone else getting a typical single SIM version of the same phone.

The idea of a dual SIM iPhone has been floating around for a while, in parts thanks to reports from serial headline-grabbing analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and code found within iOS by 9to5Mac that hints at support for multiple SIM cards in a single iPhone.

The LCD iPhone is supposed to be a cheaper offering designed as a successor to the iPhone 8 rather than the pricier XI and XI Plus models. Though knowing Apple "cheaper" is a relative term, and you shouldn't be surprised if this model is closer to the £739 Galaxy S9 in price than, say, the £469 OnePlus 6. This phone is set to come with an aluminium body, rather than the usual steel, though it's expected to keep the same design as the iPhone X. So notches, FaceID, minimal bezels, and so on.

9to5Mac notes that dual SIM devices are quite popular in Asia, so it makes sense that Apple would start there. It may have around 24 per cent of the Chinese market share, but anything that helps it creep closer to 100 per cent is probably worth doing from a business perspective. That way the shareholders are kept happy. If you had you heart set on a dual SIM iPhone don't be too disappointed by this news. It probably won't stay a regional exclusive for long so if they sell well in China don't be surprised if dual SIM iPhones arrive in Europe and the Americas quite soon. [9to5Mac]