Apple Introduces Dual SIM Feature To Bridge The Work-Life Gap

The One (And Only) New iPhone Feature That Enterprises Should Know

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Steven Lerner

If you’re tired of carrying around two iPhones — one for work and one for home — then Apple has got some good news for you. At Wednesday’s Apple event, the company introduced its new Dual SIM feature, which allows users to have two sim cards on their iPhone. That means that users can have two phone numbers on the same Apple device.

Other than that feature, you’d be hard-pressed to find another moment at the Apple Event that was dedicated to improving the enterprise experience. Can you really blame Apple for ignoring businesses? iOS controls 79% of mobile enterprise use in the United States, which means that Apple can take enterprises for granted while focusing on other markets, such as gamers.

Two SIM Cards, One iPhone

The Dual SIM capabilities could be game changer for enterprises. Many professionals are already using the same phone for both personal use and work. The feature allows users to have a secondary number on a phone — including numbers with different carriers. The phone also has an eSIM feature so that users don’t have to use a physical SIM card.

Professionals can use the Dual SIM feature for international traveling. The user can sign up for a temporary local secondary number to avoid the sticker shock of an expensive overseas cell phone bill.

Eric Klein, VDC Research’s director of enterprise mobility and connected devices, hasn’t seen any evidence of Dual SIM making penetration in the enterprise market, but it is an important development because of dual persona mobile management.

“Most people are not taking advantage of it, but I think that is mainly due to the fact that most people are not traveling internationally, and that's really where this becomes more of a great benefit,” Klein said. “It gives you a lot more flexibility when traveling internationally. I think is a trend that should be paid more attention to.”

Although the Dual SIM feature can help companies separate work and personal data usage, there are some issues. Some people are uncomfortable with using their work phone for personal use, and there are possibly some privacy concerns. Klein also said that there are already other services that offer the same convenience of having two phone numbers on the same device.

New Devices From Apple

On Wednesday, Apple touted its lineup of three new iPhones and one new smartwatch.

The new iPhone XS will feature the most durable glass in a smartphone, the biggest display in iPhone history, a faster typing response, faster algorithms, a faster secure enclave, a longer-lasting battery, and the new A12 bionic chip — which Apple says is the most powerful chip ever in a smartphone. It is 5.8 inches long (starting at $999), along with a 6.5-inch version known as the iPhone XS Max (starting at $1,099). A third phone, the iPhone XR, offers the iPhone X experience on an LCD display. It starts at a slightly more reasonable price of $749.

Klein said that there is still some price sensitivity in the market, which has provided an opening for more affordable phones, such as Android, to infiltrate the enterprise experience.

The new Apple Watch Series 4 boasts a 30% larger screen, the capabilities to add contacts with just a single tap, and new health-centric features. It starts at $399 for GPS and $499 for cellular coverage. Klein said that there aren’t many use cases with the Apple Watch in the enterprise due to the high price tag. Large organizations that are focused on employee health and wellness could potentially invest in it as a benefit for workers.

See Related: Will Apple's New Products Impact Enterprises?

The Significance Of The 2018 Apple Event For Enterprises

Despite the lack of enterprise-focused attention at the Apple Event, some organizations are eager to experiment with the new Apple products.

“Our enterprise mobility teams are always evaluating new technologies and how we may take advantage of them to benefit our employees and our customers,” said Jon Kent, manager of field service mobility for Cox Communications. “We are excited to evaluate use cases for the Dual SIM enabled iPhone, and even the biometric advances on the Apple Watch.”

Klein said that instead of focusing on the bigger screens, faster processors, and longer battery life of new smartphones, organizations should monitor the enterprise-centric software and security features on mobile devices.

“I would say there's not really too much innovation happening in the smartphone space right now. The new capabilities that I see aren't really worthwhile or useful to anyone,” Klein said. “What's more interesting about companies such as Apple, Samsung, and Google is what’s happening behind the scenes. The way that they're partnering and engaging with enterprise-focused vendors, such as Citrix, VMware, and Cisco. Apple is working with enterprise-focused vendors, giving them opportunities to integrate features into their platforms to make their applications more accessible.”