eSIM-Capable Devices Set for Hyper-Growth After Crossing Inflection Point

  • More than 6 billion xSIM (eSIM + iSIM) devices will be shipped over the next 5 years.
  • 70% of all cellular devices shipped in 2030 will sport an eSIM.
  • iSIM (iUICC) will grow fastest. It will become the preferred SIM form factor by 2030 for all cellular categories.
  • Smartphones will remain the primary driving category, more than 40% of all xSIM devices will be eSIM.

New Delhi, Seoul, Hong Kong, Beijing, London, Buenos Aires, San Diego – June 5, 2023

More than 6 billion xSIM-capable devices will be cumulatively shipped over the next five years, covering all form factors including hardware-based eSIM (eUICC), iSIM (iUICC), nuSIM and Soft SIM, according to Counterpoint’s latest eSIM Devices Market Outlook report.

eSIM adoption has passed the inflection point and is now entering a high-growth phase, driven by the rising adoption of eSIM in smartphones, connected vehicles and cellular IoT applications. The next phase of growth will be driven by greater awareness of eSIM among mobile network operators (MNOs) and device manufacturers, facilitated by the flexibility, cost efficiency, security, cost savings and above all, the key role eSIM is playing in the digital transformation of MNOs.

In 2022, eSIM-capable device shipments grew 11% YoY to reach 424 million units despite a 3% YoY fall in overall cellular-connected device shipments due to weaker demand for smartphones. Globally, more than 275 MNOs support eSIM and provide connections to 30+ different eSIM-capable consumer device models on average. Furthermore, the number of cellular IoT modules and devices is continuously growing.

Commenting on the outlook for xSIM-capable device shipments, Research Vice President Neil Shah said, “The physical MFF2/WLCSP form-factor soldered eSIM chip has been the go-to standard for eSIM implementation alongside the other niche alternative implementations such as soft SIM and nuSIM. Over the next five years, hardware-based eSIM (eUICC) will remain the dominant eSIM form factor and will account for more than half of all shipments.”

“The first wave of mainstream iSIM adoption will be seen across IoT applications driven by leading IoT chipset and module players such as Quectel, Telit, Sequans and Sony Semi (Altair) in partnership with leading xUICC players like Kigen, G+D and Thales. Other key stakeholders driving the adoption of iSIMs would include Qualcomm, IDEMIA, Truphone, Redtea Mobile, Oasis SmartSIM, Apple, Samsung and Nokia. Beyond 2028, iSIM is projected to take over as the dominant SIM form factor, with the shipments of iSIM-capable devices poised to climb to a cumulative 4 billion units by 2030.”

eSIM Has Reached an Inflection Point, Set to Enter a Period of Hyper-Growth

eSIM Has Reached an Inflection Point, Set to Enter a Period of Hyper-Growth

Source:  Global eSIM Landscape – Market Outlook and Forecast

Commenting on eSIM adoption across different device categories, Senior Analyst Ankit Malhotra said, “Smartphones have been key in driving primary eSIM awareness among consumers and MNOs, and will continue to be the dominant eSIM-capable device category. Cellular connectivity in smartwatches is growing steadily which is also helping increase the penetration of eSIM-supported smartwatches. The adoption of entitlement servers by MNOs worldwide is a testament to the growing number of smartwatches and other companion devices powered by eSIM. Other cellular-capable consumer devices such as laptops and tablets will also see rapid eSIM adoption in the coming years.”

“The number of IoT/M2M devices equipped with eSIM is poised to grow faster than consumer device categories due to the natural cost, space and remote device management benefits that eSIM offers. The new eSIM IoT specifications SGP.31 by GSMA will accelerate eSIM adoption in the IoT segments potentially eradicating complexities of the existing eSIM Remote Service Provisioning (RSP) platform SM-DP/SM-SR for M2M/IoT segments.”

eSIM Devices Forecast and Analysis

eSIM (xSIM) Devices Forecast and Analysis

Emerging device categories such as XR, drones and cellular gateways/FWA CPEs will be the fastest-growing categories. 5G-connected drones are another category that will benefit from eSIM technology and drive adoption across several use cases like last-mile delivery, disaster management, search and rescue, education, construction and agriculture. Regulation of beyond-visual-range drones in regions such as Europe will increase the adoption of eSIMs as well.

Automotive and smart mobility are huge growth areas as well. Connected cars are one of the largest and most obvious use cases for eSIMs. Consistent connectivity experience for mobility applications is becoming paramount, particularly for safety use cases such as eCall and the future rise of autonomous driving.

The comprehensive and in-depth report ‘Global eSIM Landscape’ is now available. Please contact Counterpoint Research to gain access to the report. 

Click here to read about eSIM Enablement, eSIM Provisioning and eSIM Orchestration.


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the technology, media and telecom (TMT) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects, and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.

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Ankit Malhotra


Neil Shah

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MWC 2023 Day 2: TECNO Phantom V Fold, realme GT3 240W, CloudSIM™ and More

It was yet another busy day in chilly Barcelona with some interesting announcements. Nothing revealed details of its upcoming smartphone, realme announced the GT3 240W with the fastest charging tech, TECNO showed off its folding smartphone, Oasis Smart-SIM showcased its CloudSIM™ solution, and much more. Below is our quick summary of the announcements from Day 2 of the MWC 2023:

TECNO joins the foldable revolution

TECNO made its MWC debut launching several products, including the Phantom V Fold, Spark 10 Pro selfie phone and Megabook S1 2023 laptop. Of course, the standout product announced at the event was the TECNO Phantom V Fold book-type foldable smartphone. Under the hood is a MediaTek Dimensity 9000+ SoC, making it the second folding smartphone powered by MediaTek SoC after the OPPO Find N2.

The smartphone features a 6.42-inch 120Hz LTPO AMOLED cover screen and a 7.85-inch 2K 120Hz LTPO folding display inside, which is bigger than the Galaxy Z Fold4. It comes with a 5,000mAh battery and 45W fast charging. The TECNO Phantom V fold will first launch in India at a price of $1,099 for the 12GB RAM and 256GB storage version, making it the most affordable book-type folding smartphone. There will also be a 512GB storage version priced at $1,222.

counterpoint mwc 2023 day 2 tecno phantom v fold back

The Africa market, where TECNO is the #1 brand, is relatively dominated by the low-end segment. Expansion to overseas markets, where consumers are ready to pay a more premium amount, has also presented an opportunity for TECNO to launch devices in higher price bands. For that, foldables currently seem to be the perfect option to make a statement in the premium segment. Since it is a new segment, OEMs also have opportunities to launch products at new price points. The debut of its foldable at the MWC 2023 cements TECNO’s global aspirations.

realme GT3 240W brings the fastest charging tech to smartphones

realme is holding true to its ‘Dare to leap’ motto. In 2022, it was the first OEM to offer a 150W charging-capable smartphone. The company is pushing the boundaries further and has now become the first brand to introduce a 240W-capable smartphone. At the MWC 2023, realme announced its latest phone, the GT3, featuring 240W charging capability. According to the realme presentation, the 240W technology is capable of fully charging the GT3’s 4,600mAh battery in roughly 10 minutes, and it can charge to 50% capacity in just four minutes.

counterpoint mwc 2023 day 2 realme GT3 240w
Courtesy – Madhav Sheth (realme)

GT3 is the fastest phone in the industry to charge from 0 to 20% in only 80 seconds, which realme showcased in the real-time demo during the MWC announcement. realme also claims this is the industry’s fastest charging speed while gaming. A vapor chamber liquid cooling system takes care of the overall health of the battery by reducing extra heat produced during fast charge. realme added multiple sensors and a fireproof design to the new device while also addressing the major issue of battery longevity, which reduces due to fast charge. The GT3’s battery can be at 80% battery health after 1,600 charging cycles which is double the industry standard of 800 cycles. The realme GT3 price starts at $649 for the 8GB RAM with 128GB storage variant.

Oasis Smart-SIM demonstrates new CloudSIM™ solution

At the MWC 2023, Oasis Smart-SIM and TATA Communications jointly revealed their latest innovation, the CloudSIM™. It is a remote hardware SIM which is stored in a dedicated, secure, GSMA-certified environment. CloudSIM™ is primarily aimed at use cases that do not require permanent connectivity. The overall cost of connectivity is reduced by limiting the number of profiles required for fleet operations and providing on-demand connectivity. The below video demonstrates some of the key use cases of the CloudSIM™ solution.

Nothing Phone (2) to be powered by Qualcomm flagship SoC

 Nothing made a small announcement at the MWC 2023 about its upcoming smartphone. While it did not reveal much, the company did mention that the next smartphone will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8-series chipset. This will be a big upgrade from the existing 7-series SoC on the Nothing Phone (1). However, Nothing did not mention which chipset it will be using, so it could be the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 or could also be last year’s Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoC. Looks like we will have to await further details.

Thales launches the world’s first GSMA-certified iSIM with Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon mobile platform

Thales has announced that its integrated SIM (iSIM) solution has now been certified by the GSMA and is ready to be deployed commercially with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 platform. In 2021, Thales, Vodafone and Qualcomm had shown a working demonstration of the iSIM.

What is iSIM? And why is it important?

iSIM is a type of SIM that is directly integrated into the processor of the device. As the next step of SIM evolution, iSIM offers significantly more space reduction than eSIMs do and lowers power consumption. This is also part of a bigger trend where we have seen multiple components, such as the modem, getting integrated into the processor of the device. Along with smartphones, iSIMs also bring multiple benefits to the IoT ecosystem.

counterpoint mwc 2023 thales qualcomm isim
Image Courtesy: Thales

Currently, around 20% of smartphones shipped in 2022 were eSIM capable. The adoption of eSIM in smartphones has been slower than what was expected three years ago due to a variety of reasons. However, the biggest hurdle has been the need for additional components required to add eSIM capability.

For iSIMs, it would be a different case because the SIM is integrated into the processor and its adoption, unlike the eSIM, will be dependent on the support of chipsets. The iSIM will see faster adoption than the eSIM because the number of players providing chipsets is limited. While we have already seen multiple IoT devices with iSIM, the first iSIM smartphone is expected in 2024.

Huawei Watch GT Cyber gets an extreme makeover

Huawei showcased its Watch GT Cyber, which is already available in China since November 2022. The smartwatch comes with interchangeable cases, and the display updates when inserted into a new case. It uses magnets along with mechanical parts to remain connected with the cases. The concept is similar to smart bands with changeable straps but with innovation that makes the whole watch body different. We will have to see if Huawei allows third-party case makers to function with the smartwatch.

counterpoint mwc 2023 day 2 huawei watch GT cyber

The Huawei Watch GT Cyber flaunts a 1.32-inch circular display with a resolution of 466x466pixels and a pixel density of 352ppi. It is water resistant up to 5ATM and comes with all the regular sensors like a barometer and magnetometer. The battery can last up to seven days on a single charge. It also has a Bluetooth calling feature.

Huawei showcases the 5.5G era and its use cases

With 5.5G, Huawei aims to offer 10X better performance over 5G, and thus create 100-fold business opportunities by opening up five frontiers:

1) Expansion in services with immersive and interactive experiences

Online 3D malls and 24K VR gaming to become mainstream. While 5G allows these use cases, 5.5G will enhance them. Huawei expects over one billion users.

2) Enable industry digitalization

Huawei expects private networks to increase 10x as the tech becomes more capable. It forecasts one million private 5G networks by 2030.

counterpoint mwc 2023 huawei 5.5g

3) Cloud applications entering a new era, creating new opportunities for network connectivity

The company aims to reduce latency which will further make cloud applications more reliable and accessible.

4) Cellular networks cover all IoT applications and passive IoT enables 100 billion connections

Passive IoT tags (e.g. RFID) will allow further solutions to better warehouse management, asset tracking, and other scenarios. Huawei expects 100 billion passive IoT tags per year from 30 billion in coming years as industries get more digital.

5) From communication to integrated sensing and communication, facilitating new services

Huawei aims to develop a more connected world using the sensing capabilities of 5.5G. It would help bring up information about areas where cameras are unable to work like during fog or rain. This would make transportation much safer.

With inputs from Varun Mishra, Karn Chauhan, Ankit Malhotra and Harshit Rastogi.
This is a developing post…….

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eSIM Only iPhone 14 is an Inflection Point for eSIM Adoption

An eSIM-only iPhone, finally!

eSIM in Smartphones has been around since 2017, however, the adoption has grown slowly. Google started it all when it launched the Pixel 2 with eSIM Support as part of “Project Fi”. However, it has been Apple that has led the popularisation of eSIM in the industry. It introduced the eSIM technology with iPhone XS and since then all iPhones launched have been compatible with eSIM. Now Apple has introduced eSIM only SKUs in US with iPhone 14.

Following in Apple’s footsteps, other OEMs such as Samsung, Huawei, and Motorola have launched smartphones with eSIM capability, mostly in the premium segment. So far, 14 OEMs have launched eSIM-capable devices.

eSIM only iPhone has been coming


So why is an eSIM-only iPhone significant?

Apple quite simply sets the de facto standard in the industry. We’ve seen this happen multiple times over the last few years. Sure, other OEMs may be able to launch something faster than Apple, but the technology sees faster adoption once Apple uses that to sell iPhones. It happened with dual cameras, portrait cameras, the display notch with FaceID.

The same phenomenon will repeat with eSIM. Google may have been the first one to launch an eSIM capable smartphone, and Motorola may have launched the world’s first eSIM-only Phone three years before Apple but with this launch, we’ll see an exponential increase in the launch of eSIM in smartphones.

We believe the launch of eSIM is an inflection point for the industry, to help transition from the physical SIM card to eSIMs. An eSIM-only iPhone will not only embed eSIM to the mind many consumers around the world, but it will also push other OEMs to switch to eSIM in the future.


eSIM-capable Smartphone Shipments

Why is Apple choosing eSIM?

The eSIM excels across multiple attributes compared to a traditional SIM card, including provisioning, size, flexibility, security, customer experience, and, above all, cost.

From a device design standpoint, features like thinner, smaller, and more power-sensitive device form-factors, often themselves embedded in a larger machine, are also driving eSIM solutions

Self-provisioning is the biggest advantage for service providers, which drives a superior and stickier customer experience. The eSIM re-programmability extends the SIM lifecycle, bringing durability and convenience for customers.

From a consumer perspective, eSIM offers the potential for greater flexibility in how to access services seamlessly and securely. At the same time, it offers time and cost savings associated with some of the current in-store provisioning or activation processes.

There have been rumors that Apple is looking to bring a portless iPhone. Removing physical SIMs would have to be an essential part of that. I believe the introduction of dual eSIMs in iPhone 13 and now the eSIM-only iPhone 14 is the first indication that a portless iPhone is in the works. The next step would ideally be moving to iSIM by adding functionality baked directly into the “Apple Silicon” which will further save board space and give Apple even greater control over the SIM.

Are operators ready?

MNOs have been gradually adopting eSIM capabilities as many face challenges either in terms of faith in the technology, a fixed mindset or cost constraints. As the eSIM-capable device ecosystem is entering the mainstream bringing rising consumer awareness, many MNOs have integrated eSIM technology into their networks.

A further push toward eSIM has been the semiconductor shortage that has impacted availability of physical SIMs. And while many aspects of the semiconductor shortage have ameliorated, this is not fully the case for SIMs.

More than 200 leading mobile network operators in over 75 countries are already supporting eSIM provisioning and management however some MNOs have gone above and beyond when it comes to eSIM are considered L.E.A.D.E.R s in the industry. They support an average of 20 or more devices, including smartphones, smartwatches, laptops, and tablets.  Most of the operators who support eSIM devices are already supporting older Apple devices like the iPhone 13. With the launch of eSIM-only iPhone in the US, it is a signal to MNOs around the world to get ready, the eSIM is here to stay!

Telit’s Acquisitions to Reshape Global IoT Module Market

In recent times, Telit has acquired cellular IoT businesses from Thales and Mobilogix. The IoT module market has started consolidating and we expect to see a few more deals in the coming months. In August, we also saw Semtech acquiring Sierra Wireless to offer complete chip-to-cloud solutions to cover the entire IoT value chain. The back-to-back acquisitions by Telit show how it is trying to become an integrated player. With the Mobilogix acquisition, Telit can offer modules, connectivity, security and management platform to design and manufacturing services. It means Telit will act as a one-stop solution provider for its customers. Here, we will try to analyze what these acquisitions mean to Telit and how they will impact the IoT industry.

Telit-Thales deal

Thales is merging its cellular IoT module business into Telit to form a new entity called Telit Cinterion. Thales will own a 25% stake in the newly formed entity and offer SIM technology and security services for IoT modules.

China dominates the global cellular IoT module market by taking more than 55% share. International players are struggling to compete in the operator- and government-driven China IoT module market.

After its deal with Telit, Thales will enjoy less distraction from its module business and will be able to focus on its core business which includes software, security and services. Thales will still continue to provide eSIM services where it is a market leader.

Global Cellular IoT Module Shipments Share by Vendor, Q1 2022

Telit and Thales Acquisition Opportunity

The newly formed company will have a common R&D platform which will help save resources. In the coming times, we may see Telit Cinterion focusing on the IoT platform business to earn revenue on a recurring basis.

Thales has a strong position in Europe and Japan, whereas Telit has a good presence in North America and Latin America. This complementary relationship supports their dream of becoming the #1 cellular IoT player in the international market. Telit-Thales is already leading in the international IoT module market in terms of revenue. With this merger, Telit Cinterion may overtake Quectel in the international market in terms of shipments in the coming years.

Telit has already divested its automotive business in 2018, but Thales has a good customer base for some European automakers. How the joint venture treats this automotive business will be keenly watched. There is ample opportunity in the automotive business with growing connected and autonomous mobility. With the introduction of 5G, Telit may focus on the automotive segment as the automotive module business contributes higher revenue due to a higher average selling price (ASP).

IoT Module Launch

In recent times, Telit has done a great job launching many new modules. This helps Telit to target new regions depending on available technologies and provides an option for customers to select a product as per their requirements.

Telit-Mobilogix deal

Telit moved to acquire Mobilogix, a decade-old end-to-end IoT hardware, software and cloud solution provider to fulfill its ambition of becoming a more integrated player and one of the largest end-to-end white-label solution providers outside China.

Mobilogix’s comprehensive device engineering expertise and resources, which focus on optimizing the specifications for EMS and ODMs, and attainment of regulatory approvals and carrier certification, will help Telit provide solutions to customers with reduced cost and complexity, and faster time to market.

Furthermore, Mobilogix is known for its expertise in customized IoT projects, which provide businesses with solutions in various application verticals that are ready to certify and mass produce. This will help Telit expand its focus in growing segments such as telematics, micro-mobility, healthcare, construction and agriculture.

Chinese module vendors are trying to become integrated players to capture maximum share across the IoT value chain. Telit is also trying to adopt such a model with these recent acquisitions. For example, Quectel is trying to increase its footprint in the North American market with the establishment of a new ODM company, named Ikotek. Similarly, Fibocom established a new ODM company in 2019 for global customers through applications such as gateway, payment terminal, telematics and industrial applications. Telit is slowly becoming vertically integrated and trying to revive back its glory days in the IoT module market.

Solutions from the combined entity will provide a great choice for customers who want to diversify and do not want to depend on the Chinese ecosystem, and need tightly integrated solution expertise from one provider.

If Telit wants to compete head-to-head with Chinese module giants like Quectel and Fibocom, it has to develop an effective business strategy for each international market.

Mobilogix has a wide range of portfolios comprising custom IoT projects and solution design services based on three basic architectures, namely beacon, power and battery-operated architecture. Apart from this, it also offers cloud platform integration and custom firmware, which will add value to Telit’s portfolio not only from cellular but also from BLE beacon hardware designs.

Mobilogix has a global presence across key regions such as the US, China, India and Latin America. Its presence in China and emerging markets like India will help Telit grow its presence in these key regions.

Telit’s Acquisitions to Reshape Global IoT Module Market


  • Telit is becoming a more integrated player with these acquisitions and moving up the stack to become an end-to-end solution provider. The convenient and comprehensive solutions will add more value to its customers’ IoT project deployments and will be concurrent with its long-term vision of becoming the #1 international module player in terms of both shipments and revenue.
  • The acquisitions will help Telit provide solutions to customers from the design/manufacturing of hardware to cloud and security with regional diversification. This will help Telit cater to more application segments, thus improving both revenue and profitability.
  • However, industry experts will be keenly watching the entire positioning, offering, strategy and business model, which are changing in the IoT space as you need to be a large-scale and end-to-end player to succeed even though it is a blue ocean out there.

Related post

Unleash the Power of iSIM for Micro-mobility Applications

Micro-mobility is an emerging market for cellular LPWAN applications. Representing small, lightweight connected vehicles in urban environments, e-bikes, e-scooters, and shared bicycle fleets need reliable connectivity, be tamper-proof and secure, and conserve battery power. The integrated SIM or iSIM technology has the potential to address these pressing challenges to support this rapidly expanding market.

This webinar will illustrate the advantages of iSIM for micro-mobility through different stakeholders in the ecosystem. We will explore how Sony, Kigen, and FloLIVE collaborate to supply out-of-the-box connectivity and extended coverage capabilities with robust, scalable security that is also applicable anywhere you need to manage fleets.

RSVP today to secure your spot at this event. A live QnA session will follow the expert panel discussion. This is a must-attend event for enterprises with large mobile fleets, micro-mobility manufacturers, and all actors needing real-time visibility across the smart city sector. Please submit your questions for the panel ahead to in advance.

Host and speakers:

Neil Shah 

Vice President,


Loic Bonvarlet

Vice President,

Product and Marketing

Igor Tovberg


Product Marketing

Rony Cohen

Co-founder & Head of

Business Development

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Webinar: How is iSIM shaping a new future in mobile and IoT connectivity?

Our Research Vice President Neil Shah will be speaking at the webinar hosted by Nokia and Counterpoint Research on November 17, 2021.  The topic of the panel discussion is “How is iSIM shaping a new future in mobile and IoT connectivity?”

He will be joined by:

Session Details: Wednesday, November 17th 2021 – 8:30 PM (IST)

About the webinar: 

By 2025, the eSIM- and iSIM-capable devices are expected to reach nearly 6 billion. What is triggering this boom – and why now? The demand for out-of-the-box global connectivity and built-in resilience enabled by these new technologies require a new approach from CSPs and enterprises.

Secure mobile and IoT identities will be a catalyst to large-scale digital growth, underpinned by iSIM technology. What does this mean for those players that want to build global solutions with the highest levels of security assurance? What is the Nokia approach to help its customers leverage the opportunities brought by the SIM transformation?

Join the webinar to find out.

What you will learn:

  • The latest news, trends, and developments on eSIM and iSIM market
  • Benefits of iSIM, current and forecasted levels of iSIM adoption
  • CSP needs for successful iSIM projects – and how to address them
  • How to enable enterprise segments to take advantage of iSIM
  • Expected evolution of iSIM – root of trust for Digital Identity services

Registration link: here

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Podcast: Over 6 Billion eSIM-based Devices to be Shipped by 2025

The Subscriber Identity Module, which we familiarly know as SIM card, has been around for nearly three decades now. One needs to insert this card into a mobile phone, Mi-Fi dongle and other devices to get connectivity. Over the years, the size of the SIM card has shrunk from a credit card form factor to a size smaller than the index fingernail. But as we move into a more connected world with NB-IoT devices and foldable smartphones, the eSIM (or embedded SIM) is gaining popularity.

The embedded SIM eliminates the need for having a physical SIM card slot, thus saving the board space for engineers, which can be used for other components. It has a wide range of applications, from smartphones and smartwatches to always-connected laptops and NB-IoT devices. But what are the challenges when it comes to implementing the embedded SIM? What are the benefits for the consumers, device makers and network operators? We answer all that and more in this podcast.

Thales, G+D and ST Micro lead eSIM enablement and eSIM management landscapes. Over one billion eSIM capable devices have been shipped cumulatively between 2014-2020, and another six billion total cumulative shipments are expected between 2021-2025.

In the latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’, host Peter Richardson is joined by VP of Research Neil Shah and Senior Analyst Karan Dasaor to discuss types of eSIMs, top players in the industry, and more. The discussion also touches upon the impact of implementing eSIM on the BOM cost and benefits across the value chain.

We have extensively covered a lot more details in our reports which can be accessed below.

Hit the play button to listen to the podcast

Also available for listening/download on:


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Thales, G+D, ST Micro Lead eSIM Enablement Landscape

While Idemia, Valid and Truphone are fast-emerging enablers with growing reach, Workz and software-based eSIM providers Kigen and Oasis are this year’s dark horses in the eSIM enablement space

Seoul, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Beijing, London, Buenos Aires, San Diego – December 16, 2020

More than 6 billion eSIM (eUICC- and iUICC-based) capable devices will be shipped cumulatively over the next five years, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s ETO (Emerging Technology Opportunities) Service. The uptake of eSIMs is poised to grow across a gamut of connected devices over the next decade, led by the flexibility, cost efficiency, security and other myriad benefits offered by the technology.

Commenting on the key eSIM technologies, Senior Analyst Karan Dasaor said, “The eSIM enablement space continues to hum with activity, with an array of companies offering eSIM solutions for diverse applications. These companies fall into three broad categories: 1) eUICC OS embedded in a hardware-based tamper-proof MFF2 or Wafer Level Chip Scale Packaging (WLCSP), miniaturized leadless package form-factors soldered into the PCBs; 2) Software-based eUICC in TEE (Trusted Execution Environment), sometimes called as soft-SIM or virtual SIM; 3) The relatively newer space of integrated UICCs, also called iSIM or iUICC, where the iUICC OS is integrated into a secure enclave within the System-on-Chip (SoC).”

“As it stands, only the hardware-based MFF2 and WLCSP form-factors are compliant with the security standards defined in GSMA’s SGPv.01/02/21/22 specs. Vendors engaged in supplying these chips are required to be GSMA SAS-UP (Security Accreditation Scheme for UICC Production) certified. Non-compliant proprietary software-based eSIM solutions (mostly iSIM and soft-SIM) are available from various ecosystem players, including component vendors, device manufacturers and operators. The iSIM is seeing a rising adoption, particularly in IoT applications, and is being evaluated to make it a part of GSMA specifications in future. On the other hand, the soft-SIM has seen greater adoption in markets such as China, within smartphones for international roaming services monetization by OEMs, and in IoT applications which are not that security-sensitive.”

Counterpoint has used its proprietary CORE (COmpetitive Ranking and Evaluation) framework to help the industry better understand and identify key players driving the thriving eSIM ecosystem. The deep-dive analysis and evaluation focuses on the relevant capabilities based on several interviews with different players. It showcases their strengths, ecosystem reach and several other criteria.

Companies such as Thales, G+D (Giesecke & Devrient), IDEMIA and VALID are the leading hardware-based eSIM enablement players integrating their GSMA-compliant eUICC OS into the MFF2/WLCSP chipsets supplied by the likes of ST Micro, Infineon and NXP. Players such as Truphone, Kigen (Arm spinoff), Oasis and RedteaMobile have also partnered with chipset players, module vendors, device OEMs and MNOs to offer eSIM and iSIM solutions expanding the supplier landscape.

Exhibit 1: eSIM Enablement CORE Scorecard and Analysis for Integrated Players

Counterpoint Research eSIM playersSource: eSIM Ecosystem – Opportunities, Trends, Evaluation, Analysis and Outlook, December 2020

Commenting on the competitive landscape, Research Vice-President Neil Shah said, “Conventional SIM card players Thales and G+D continue to lead the eSIM enablement race, driven by end-to-end secure GSMA certified eSIM solutions, technology contribution, diverse partnerships across the value chain and growing customer base. They are followed by IDEMIA and VALID in third and fourth spots respectively, scoring well across the board. Wuhan Tianyu, which is among the handful of Chinese vendors fully compliant with GSMA’s SAS-UP and SAS-SM certifications, has taken notable strides towards eSIM applications leveraging the IoT boom in China.”

Shah added, “The upstart eUICC players such as Kigen, Oasis and Workz are the dark horses looking to challenge the leaders with unique offerings, broadening partner and customer base with greater focus on IoT applications.”

Semiconductor companies such as STMicroelectronics, NXP and Infineon have been the key suppliers of secure hardware eSIM chipsets, partnering with the eUICC OS vendors as above and in some cases having own in-house integrated solutions. ST Micro, for instance, has seen a marked growth in its eSIM solution adoption for consumer and IoT deployments, whereas Infineon has been the key supplier for eSIM in mobility applications.

Commenting on the future evolution of eSIM form-factors, Research Director Dale Gai added, “Players such as Sony Semiconductor (Altair Semi), Sequans and Qualcomm have played a key role in driving iUICC implementations in partnership with different ecosystem players to bring iSIM solutions across IoT applications. As we move towards the iSIM era, players designing SoCs, from Qualcomm to MediaTek to Apple, will dominate and drive the integrated SIM capabilities within their chipsets, helping save board space, and have more control with the ability to scale across consumer, mobility and IoT applications.”

Exhibit 2: eSIM Enablement Scorecard Evaluation and Analysis for eSIM Hardware Enablement

Source: eSIM Ecosystem – Opportunities, Trends, Evaluation, Analysis and Outlook, December 2020

The comprehensive and in-depth report on “eSIM Ecosystem – Opportunities, Trends, Evaluation, Analysis and Outlook” is part of Counterpoint’s ETO Service.


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in technology products in the TMT industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects, and detailed analysis of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are experts in the industry with an average tenure of 13 years in the high-tech industry.

Analyst Contacts:

Karan Dasaor

Dale Lai


 Neil Shah

 Counterpoint Research


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