Balancing between multiple SIM cards in one device can be a tedious task, greeted with the risk of missing important calls or messages. Apple’s newly published patent, aptly titled "System Enablers for Multi-SIM Devices" and numbered US20230300947A1, aims to eliminate such challenges, making multi-SIM usage a more pleasant experience.
The pressing issue addressed by this invention lies in the blind decisions multi-SIM phones often make. Imagine you're using an iPhone with two SIM cards (henceforward referred to as a Multi-SIM UE), one for personal use and another for work. If your device is connected to your personal network and receives a call on your work network, it may prematurely decide to ignore or respond to that call. The choice is quite literally blind because it can't tell what the incoming call is about or its importance. Consequently, it might interrupt a high-priority process on your personal SIM to cater to a low-priority call on your work SIM.
In a more specific scenario, if the multi-SIM UE decides to respond to a page received on the second network, it may need to stop its current connection with the first network— an aspect that the device may have to do independently. Apart from distorting the statistics of the first network, this abrupt disconnection could likely be interpreted as an error, causing unnecessary complications.
But, thanks to this patent, these issues could be things of the past. The invention aids phones to work smarter and helps the network locate them when required. Leveraging this capability, the network can inform your phone about the significance of an incoming call or message. Your phone can then respond based on the importance of that communication, thus reducing the risk of undesired interruptions.
Imagine a world where your multi-SIM iPhone knows when it's time for a work call and when it can unwind with a relaxing tune. Let's say you're scrolling through your feed, immersed in your personal time, and your work SIM receives a page. Your multi-SIM iPhone can identify whether it's your boss wanting updates on the ongoing project or just a promotional message. If it's the latter, the iPhone continues to let you enjoy your time-off, but if it's a call from your boss, it alerts you, allowing you to switch to your work SIM seamlessly without disrupting your personal network.
The benefits of this patented system could be attractive to a broad spectrum of people, from professionals juggling between personal and professional networks to frequent international travelers who rely on local SIMs while maintaining their home country's network connection.
It's important to keep in mind that this patent is not an assurance of an immediate market appearance. Despite its potential, it could be years before we see this feature, if at all. Nonetheless, this interesting peek into the future of multi-SIM management holds immense promise for the growing digitized, hyperconnected world.
P.S. This is an exploration of a recent patent filed by Apple. Like other patents, there's no guarantee that this feature will make its way to market. It should be treated as a sign of the direction that Apple's researching, rather than a surefire future feature.