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Tomorrow’s Chromebooks will likely support eSIMs and Project Fi

It looks like Microsoft and Qualcomm’s Always-Connected PCs (APC) are about to meet their match, as Google is reportedly working on bringing eSIM as well as Project Fi support to Chromebooks.

The finding comes from a code review by XDA of the open source Chromium code base, which Chrome OS is based upon. This support for eSIMs – and by proxy Project Fi, as it supports the eSIM standard – is referred to as ‘Project Hermes.’

“Hermes is the codename for the project of implementing eSIM support for Chrome OS. Hermes will be responsible for delivering messages between devices with eSIM chips and carrier servers through profile downloads as well as service discovery for new carriers,” the summary reads on the Chromium website.

XDA’s deduction that Project Fi will be supported in addition to eSIM comes from the fact that Google’s latest leading smartphones, the Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL, both ship with eSIM support – Project Fi works with eSIM.

Pressing the advantage

Of course, it’s easy to suspect that Google looks to compete with Microsoft’s APC initiative, which has been off to a rocky start. The first of these devices are generally premium-grade laptops and tablets, but are said to lack the performance that their price tags denote.

Meanwhile, Chromebooks are already known for their impeccably long battery life, not to mention their nigh unbeatable value. LTE connectivity would vastly boost the value proposition of Chromebooks, especially when would-be buyers are looking for such a device and their choice is between something that costs 1,000 bucks or quid versus, say, 300.

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However, the introduction of eSIM and Project Fi support could drive the prices of such Chromebook devices up a bit, but likely nowhere near that of these APC products. Regardless, the competition between laptops that can go online anywhere is about to heat up.


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