New evidence in the latest batch of iOS 12 betas suggests that dual-SIM iPhones are indeed on their way.
There are references to dual-SIM support hidden within a system component related to diagnostic reports, according to 9to5Mac’s Guilherme Rambo, who first spotted the evidence in iOS 12’s code.
Specifically, the system components mention diagnostic reports on “second SIM status” and “second SIM tray status.” Both suggest that Apple is working to update its mobile operating system to support an iPhone compatible with dual SIM cards, backing up previous analyst forecasts and rumors.
As Rambo points out, the mention of a second SIM card tray also reveals that at least one iPhone may have two physical slots for SIM cards. A previous rumor indicated that Apple could add dual-SIM functionality to its iPhones with its own proprietary eSIM technology.
Dual-SIM capabilities basically let users have two “phone numbers” on a single device, allowing them to mix carriers or plans without swapping out a physical SIM card. It could also be a boon for frequent travelers who rely on travel-oriented or locally bought SIM cards.
The feature is incredibly popular in China and developing countries, but it has failed to see widespread adoption in Western regions like the U.S., Europe or Australia.
An iPhone with dual-SIM functionality could make Apple’s handsets more appealing in increasingly critical markets like China and India. That, combined with larger form factors and reduced price points, could help Apple snatch away additional market share from its Android competitors in those regions.
Apple software has given away hints at future products before. Last year, a leaked version of iOS 11 revealed new Apple Watches, Animoji and other next-generation features. Famously, a HomePod firmware also showed off Face ID and “sensor cutout” prior to the iPhone X’s release.
In other words, this week’s iOS 12 discovery is probably an accurate predictor of dual-SIM iPhones.