Why dual-SIM phones are popular outside the U.S. Source: iDownload Blog

Apple could be on the verge of launching a dual-SIM iPhone. According to some sources along with a leaked iOS beta code, it does look likely that dual-SIM card support could finally be coming to the iPhone. The American smartphone giant is expected to launch three new smartphone devices this year and it won’t be a surprise if one of them comes with this feature. Dual-SIM support has been very common in many phone models but Apple has never considered it before. So, the question is why now?

Well, while dual-SIM support may not be that important in the US, in other parts of the world it’s a very popular feature. Adding a second SIM could significantly change how Apple devices are used outside the US and in the end, the phones may become even more attractive to buyers. The idea of a dual-SIM phone first came to light in the early 2000s. Small Chinese companies started to test out various designs and were eventually able to deliver dual-SIM phones for customers.

Dual iPhones are very popular in China. Source: The Verge

But why would consumers want dual-SIM support? First, people in many regions outside the US have always had the chance to buy unlocked phones directly. The main advantage historically was to avoid roaming fees. In China, for example, phone numbers are tied to your location. For instance, if you were to move from one city to another, you would probably need to also change your SIM card in order to enjoy mobile phone services. When you do this, you are charged roaming fees and you have to pay more for long distance calls. Dual-SIM support has helped solve this issue for many consumers. You could have one SIM card for your permanent location and another for the city or town you were visiting for the short duration.

In addition to this, dual-SIM cards do allow people to take advantage of different cell phone service plans. For example, there are cell phone carriers that offer very competitive data prices while others are good when it comes to calls and messaging services. That’s why consumers choose to use two SIM cards to get the best of both worlds. In other countries where network infrastructure is still in development, it helps to be able to switch to different carriers if you move into places where coverage for your regular SIM card is not that good.

In either case, the Chinese market loves dual_SIM phones. Source: Mashable

However, it’s unlikely that Apple will make a dual-SIM phone to target all these markets. After all, the company has always operated a high-end smartphone brand with very high margins. We don’t think that the company will change its strategy in order to bring in a few more price-conscious consumers. In fact, reports are indicating that the dual-SIM phone may only be available in China. After all, China has always been a big target market for Apple and it’s perhaps the only high-value market where a high-end phone would be expected to have dual-SIM support. But it may also be possible that the American company is simply angling towards the price-conscious consumers so we wouldn’t be surprised if dual-SIM models are sold in other regions too.