The first iPhone that support solely eSIM is the iPhone 14. On the other hand, eSIM has existed since the iPhone X. You may activate a cellular plan on an iPhone that supports eSIM without a real SIM card from your carrier. Additionally, you may add many eSIMs to your iPhone, which is excellent for travelers.
The Apple Watch and iPad cellular devices that enable eSIM increase your possibilities. This article is for you if you want to set up eSIM on your iPhone or learn more about the iOS eSIM capability.
How to Set Up eSIM on an iPhone X or Later
Since the iPhone Xs and XR, Apple has supported eSIM, but this year it is going all out and removing the traditional SIM card slot from every version of the iPhone 14 that is offered in the United States. Although additional country-specific models will support both physical and virtual SIM, Apple may ultimately do away with the SIM slot in other nations depending on supply. Regional variations exist in the specific instructions. We have mostly concentrated on the U.S. market for this guide.
Users may quickly switch between SIM cards thanks to ESIM, an alternative to a physical SIM that is integrated into the phone’s circuitry. People may host more than two SIM cards thanks to it. The iPhone 14 will support up to eight SIM cards simultaneously. How simple is it to activate a fresh eSIM on an iPhone? There shouldn’t be many steps involved.
This is how you do it:
To add a cellular plan, go to Settings > Cellular. An alternative location for this item is Settings > Mobile Data > Add eSIM.
To transfer the plan, a number of numbers will be shown. In any other case, you may explicitly choose “Transfer from Nearby iPhone.” For this to function, iOS 16 must be installed on both iPhones.
You may complete this step with the aid of the previous model’s instructions. On the older iPhone, enter the verification code that will be seen on the new one.
Your Carrier will notify you to finish the setup when you transfer the plan to the newer iPhone.
A QR code reader
You may simply choose “Utilize QR Code” while configuring the new iPhone or use the camera if your carrier has provided you with one.
Under Settings > Mobile Data > Add eSIM, you may discover the “Use QR Code” option in some locations.
Actual SIM conversion
Some carriers could provide instant physical SIM to eSIM conversion without the need to go to a shop. Go to Settings > Cellular, choose Convert to eSIM, and then press on Convert Cellular Plan to do it. Tap Convert to eSIM after verifying the cellular plan you wish to convert, then wait for it to activate.
What Is eSIM, and How Does It Work?
An eSIM is exactly what it says it is. Basically, it functions as a virtual SIM card. Therefore, you can add a new carrier to your iPhone by scanning a QR code rather than purchasing and manually inserting a SIM card.
This is useful if you’re setting up a new iPhone because it allows you to do everything from home instead of having to go somewhere else. Additionally, you save time by not having to wait for a physical SIM card to be mailed to you. If it’s of interest to you, we’ve also discussed the distinction between SIM and eSIM separately.
In contrast to CDMA devices, the eSIM feature allows you to add or remove networks at your discretion. When using a CDMA phone, you are locked onto a single network. While this is acceptable if you’re in a nation that supports CDMA, it’s not beneficial to everyone and can be constricting.
Travelers benefit from eSIM because it allows them to use various phone networks in various nations. This also applies to those who need a second number or have a business line. An eSIM phone is also simpler to set up, and you are not required to have a carrier connect your phone to their network.
On an iPhone X, XS, XR, and all later models, an eSIM can be installed. It is safe to assume that all eSIM-only iPhone 14 models sold in the United States will also be the case for all upcoming iPhone models.
Are Physical SIM Cards a Thing of the Past?
Physical SIM cards are no longer used by Apple starting with the iPhone 14’s most recent model. Since there is no physical SIM card, many people believe the new eSIM feature is comparable to CDMA phones. That’s not the case, though. Since the eSIM is merely a virtual SIM card, switching between networks or phones is simple.
Because you don’t need to buy a physical SIM card in a store or online, using an eSIM is more practical. You can register with a carrier to receive a QR code that will make setting up your phone quicker. With this level of comfort, it’s doubtful physical SIM cards will be used for very long.