Qualcomm adds ISIM design to Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor and obtains certification from the GSMA

After promoting eSIM application design for many years, Qualcomm announced during MWC 2023 that it has partnered with French company Thales to add an integrated SIM card design approved by the GSM Association (GSMA) to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. This is the iSIM design that has been discussed for a long time, which will further free up space occupied by internal components of devices such as smartphones.

Qualcomm expects that the number of devices adopting integrated SIM design will grow to 300 million by 2027 and gradually reduce the proportion of traditional SIM cards and eSIM designs.

Compared with the current eSIM design, iSIM mainly integrates the digital SIM card into the processor, which can also rewrite different telecom service data and allow devices to use various telecom tariff plans according to their needs. It emphasizes the same security and does not occupy the limited space inside the device, making device design more flexible, and even can be used in smaller IoT devices.

This announcement of cooperation with Thales integrates iSIM design into the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor and even confirms that the upcoming Snapdragon processors can integrate iSIM design, which means that future mobile devices using Snapdragon processors can become thinner, or adopt larger battery capacity.

As the usage mode is the same as eSIM, telecom operators who can provide eSIM services can basically expand their business to iSIM usage mode.

However, just like the recently announced Snapdragon Satellite communication function, although it can be used on Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processors, it does not mean that all mobile phones that currently use this processor and are already on the market can support such functions. It mainly depends on whether actual application products support it.

From Qualcomm’s announcement so far, it is expected that mobile phones to be launched in the second half of this year will include satellite communication and iSIM functions.

On the other hand, it was previously rumored in the market that the new iPhone to be launched by Apple will cancel the physical SIM card design (currently only sold in the US market), which may also introduce an iSIM design.