No one knows what’s going on with the Google Pixel 8’s SIM card tray

No one knows what’s going on with the Google Pixel 8’s SIM card tray

Could Google be following in Apple’s footsteps for its next smartphone launch?

OnLeaks/MySmartPrice“” data-modal-id=”single-image-modal” data-modal-container-id=”single-image-modal-container” data-img-caption=””””>

We’re less than two months out from the expected launch of the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, assuming this year’s lineup sticks to the usual calendar. Despite early announcements for its previous two smartphones, Google has remained completely silent on this year’s lineup, leaving us reliant on renders and rumors to know what’s coming down the pike. That might be leaving fans a little stir-crazy, as the latest Pixel 8 rumors to hit the internet could see Google following in the footsteps of one of Apple’s most controversial iPhone decisions.

Mishaal Rahman took to Twitter (or, you know, X, whatever, etc.) over the weekend to point out a potential secret in OnLeaks renders from the Pixel 8 earlier this year, observing the complete lack of a SIM card tray in any of the images. That’s rare for OnLeaks; his previous renders for every Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 model, as observed in this tweet, showcased a SIM slot on the phone, suggesting this isn’t an accidental omission after all.

OnLeaks/MySmartPrice“” data-modal-id=”single-image-modal” data-modal-container-id=”single-image-modal-container” data-img-caption=”null”>

A render of two white Google Pixel 8 phones against a white background

The renders in question.

Of course, it’s worth taking all of this with a massive grain of salt — Rahman says as much in his own post. For one thing, the leaked Pixel 8 Pro thermometer video from May has a very visible SIM card slot. Even if that’s a pre-production unit, it’d be strange to place a SIM card tray in a device that won’t have one in its finalized version. It’s possible, of course, that the model seen in that video is an international device, though, which would render the whole argument moot.

Crucially, OnLeaks tells Rahman that he ignores any missing details not included in the CADs he’s working off to avoid the risk of making an incorrect guess. Which, of course, brings us to the possibility that the renders are just, you know, wrong. SmartPrix, a website that often teams up with OnLeaks to publish images like these, claims the Pixel 8 Pro has a SIM card tray on its left side, matching the thermometer video. OnLeaks, for his part, told Rahman that any information published by his partners that doesn’t align with his own isn’t coming from him.

Surrounding all of this speculation is Google’s continued work towards improving eSIM support on Android. Obviously, this has to happen regardless of the company’s plans for its upcoming hardware, but it’s tough not to look at features like the option to transfer SIMs between devices, or to convert a physical SIM into an eSIM, without some level of suspicion.

Whether or not the Pixel 8 series ships with a SIM card slot in North America, the eSIM future is coming sooner rather than later. Nearly one year ago, when Apple first announced a SIM-less iPhone 14 series for the US, I declared physical SIM cards as good as dead, predicting that many Android OEMs would follow Apple’s lead here, just as they had with the headphone jack half a decade ago. Someone has to fire the first shot on team green bubble, though, and this fall, it could end up being Google that leads the charge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *