Off-late, there's been a huge demand for dual-sim and triple-sim phones, thanks to 'innovations' by Indian handset manufacturers and global players! What exactly are these multiple-SIM phones? A dual-SIM phone for example can hold two SIM cards, which allows you to have two mobile connections (most probably from different mobile operators) simultaneously on the same handset. There are two variations in this: "Standby dual-SIM" and "Active dual-SIM" phones. The 'active' version allows you to have both the SIM active at the same time. There are some triple-SIM phones too with two GSM-supported SIM cards and one CDMA-supported SIM Cards or vice versa!
Having two connections on the same mobile phone is of tremendous value. It allows you separate both business and personal calls! or if you travel to foreign country, you can have one local-sim with your original SIM intact! Some smart customers use one SIM to make calls and SMS and other SIM for browsing web and other data-intensive stuff. Mobile operators have different plans. Often one operator offers a very 'text-friendly' plan and the other operator offers a 'browsing friendly' plan. Smart consumers exploit both the offers through this dual-SIM phones. Dual-SIM and triple-SIM phones allows for mix-and-match thereby throwing plethora of options in the hands of customers! Rahul Goel, CEO of Videocon summarizes this aptly, "People whose work involves frequent travel, and who operate different businesses and change operators often go for such mobiles, and a discerning consumer uses SMS, call services and net surfing from different providers.".
Internally, the active dual-SIM phones will have two transceivers, to allow simulataneous reception of signal from different connections. Having two transceivers has an impact on the battery-life, reducing the life to one-third or even half! So, some mobile phones comes with dual batteries, one for each SIM!
In 2009, the dual-SIM phones constituted approximately 8.5% of the total mobile handset sales in India! Within a year, the demand has more than doubled to 18.5%! In terms of pure numbers, this works out around 10 million units! Samsung claims that the dual-SIM phones work out to 15% of its total sales and that justifies why samsung is aggressive about multiple-SIM phones! Today, more than 40 brands offer this dual-SIM phones.
I am personally excited about the dual-SIM phone with smartphone and touch capabilty than anything else. Nokia E71 seems to be a good candidate. Samsung has good amount of variants. You can explore and research more about the dual-SIM phones through our comprehensive search.
Here are some good starting points for you. Good luck with your 'multiple-lives' :)
List of Dual-SIM Phones
List of Triple-SIM Phones