eSIM services on smartwatches: Samsung or Apple

The launch of the Samsung Galaxy Watch3 in August marked a new era for eSIM smartwatches as it became the first to support a standard eSIM service.

The first eSIM was introduced in 2016 in the Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch and today nearly all smartwatches have one. However, it has not been possible to scan standard eSIM QR codes that are available from many operators and eSIM stores around the world on these smartwatches.

Apple has restricted its smartwatch users to using the same mobile service they have in their iPhones and paying their mobile operator around an additional $10 per month for the service.

The Family Setup Support service lets users connect a watch to its own mobile service plan from a limited number of operators but also prevents them from using a standard eSIM QR code and downloading that service to their watch.

Samsung, on the other hand, debuted the Galaxy Watch3 on August 5, 2020, and this allows users to purchase a standard eSIM service anywhere in the world. This allows them to select a service from a host of providers and experience the true flexible wireless connectivity eSIMs offer.

James Ashby, Product Manager at, is complimentary about Samsung’s approach to using eSIM technology in smartwatches, “It is good to see a manufacturer adopting an open standard approach and providing their users with real choice”.

They are also the only online eSIM store providing eSIM services that support voice, SMS, and data with a telephone number – a must for these smartwatches.

The elimination of limitations surrounding mobile carriers opens up more opportunities for independent providers to integrate their products and services with devices and ultimately offer users true wireless connectivity that is simple and seamless.

Whether Apple and other major players like Huawei follow in the steps of Samsung and bow to the changing needs and expectations of consumers, there is no doubt that the introduction of standard eSIM services to smartwatches sets the bar higher for tech companies.

Those who don’t adapt risk being eclipsed by the companies that do – like Samsung.

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