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What Apple’s iPhone eSIM support will mean for you?

Issuing time:2018-09-30 10:37

Apple has included support for an electronic SIM (eSIM) standard in its new iOS 12.1 beta; unlike a physical SIM card in a smartphone, it will allow a user to virtually move between cellular carriers at will through the phone's "Settings" function.

The dual-SIM feature is offered in Apple's latest iPhones, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max – both of which were unveiled Sept. 12 – and the upcoming iPhone XR. According to Apple, to use two different carriers, the iPhone must be unlocked; otherwise, both plans must be from the same carrier.

Cellular carriers will need to support the feature, which was first spotted in the iOS 12.1 beta by 9to5Mac. (That beta was released to developers last week.)

Many carriers around the world, including AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon in the U.S., plan to support eSIM, according to a list published by Apple.

According to Apple's support page, the eSIM will enable users to, in theory, toggle between one phone number for business use and another for personal calls. Additionally, it eliminates roaming charges by enabling a user to simply switch over to a local data plan when traveling out of a typical region, and it will enable separate voice and data plans.

The eSIM capability is excpected to be activated in a software update – likely with the launch of iOS 12.1, though features included in beta releases have sometimes been pulled before the upgrade is released publicly. Apple hasn't locked down an exact date for the release.

ios12 iphone dual sim settings cellular cellular data cropped

ios12 iPhone dual sim settings cellular data

"Both of your phone numbers can make and receive voice calls and send and receive SMS and MMS. Your iPhone can use one cellular data network at a time," according to the Apple support page.

The eSIM capability is available through the Dual-SIM functionalityoffered by the nano-SIM card in the new phones. The iPhone XS and XS Max went on sale Sept. 21. The iPhone XR is set to be released in mid-October.

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