Google’s Pixel 8 series has been the center of various leaks so far but they have mostly been usually expected upgrades. But fresh speculation has emerged claiming Google could be ready for a monumental shift with the upcoming smartphone lineup. The Pixel 8 series could become the second smartphone series after Apple’s iPhone 14 series to ditch physical SIM card slots completely.
Pixel 8 to be eSIM Only?
As per well-known Android researcher Mishaal Rahman, Google may release Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro as eSIM-only devices. This could happen in at least some of the markets, if not everywhere around the globe. His speculation is based on Pixel 8 series renders that leaked earlier this year. These renders do not show any SIM card slot on the smartphone.
Rahman says renders related to the previous generation Pixel smartphones i.e. Pixel 7 and Pixel 6 series showed a physical SIM card slot on the left side. It also includes the Pixel 7a and Pixel 6a models. This is the reason he believes it is unlikely to be an accidental omission or overlook.
The app researcher also had a talk with OnLeaks, the tipster who created and shared Pixel 8 series renders with his partner publications. OnLeak told him that renders are mostly accurate but may miss out on some details at times and would not make any guesses just yet. Another thing to note is that SmartPrix, the publication behind Pixel 8 Pro renders, does mention the smartphone will have a SIM card slot. OnLeaks responded to that by saying it is not information shared by him and is simply the publication’s own interpretations of renders.
Rahman further added a Pixel 8 Pro leak video did show a glimpse of a physical SIM card slot on the left side. It means either the Pixel 8 series renders are incorrect or Google is thinking of ditching physical SIM card slots in select markets. All-in-all, it is more of a speculation at this point in time and we should wait for more conclusive evidence before getting too excited or disappointed about the potential change.
However, Google offering eSIM-only Pixel 8 series is not exactly an odd idea to think about. We have seen Apple do it with the iPhone 14 series in the United States and we all know, it does not take too long for Android brands to follow the footprints. It is quite possible Google may do the same, at least in the United States if not in more markets.
Google has already confirmed it is working on a new Android feature that will make eSIM transfer a quick and hassle-free process. It just made an appearance in a leak that showed how it would work. It shows the eSIM transfer feature on Android will be available during the initial phone setup. A user will need to scan a QR code shown on the older device with an eSIM profile installed. It is expected to arrive first on the Pixel 8 series and then expand to other Android devices eventually.