Now that Apple has finally released it’s three lavishly expensive smartphones, let’s talk about one of it’s newest features – the dual SIM functionality. This raised quite a few eyebrows as it is the first time an iPhone has had such functionality. Apple had long been rumoured to bring some sort of dual-SIM functionality this year and this has finally come to pass. However, this is not your traditional dual SIM that we’re used to seeing on most Android phones with a dual slot for each SIM. This is a nano-SIM + eSIM setup. So what’s this eSIM? let’s talk about it a bit.
First off, let’s make it clear that the nano-SIM + eSIM configuration is not only for the iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max. The iPhone XR supports it as well. Also, this is for the rest of the world except China which will get a true dual physical SIM iPhone. That’s cool.
What is an eSIM?
Now that it’s out of the way, let’s talk about what an eSIM actually is. Well, the term eSIM is short of Embedded SIM. Now, this is a self-explanatory term. It means that unlike traditional SIM cards, an eSIM is part of the phone’s hardware. So, when you open the box, it will be there but it won’t be visible. This also means that you can’t take it out, well, not in the way you take out a physical SIM. These eSIMs are much smaller and are said to be less prone to failure. Do note that this is not the first time we’re seeing an eSIM from Apple. The Apple Watch Series 3 was first to flaunt it and from the Android side, Google’s Pixel 2 had it for the US variant.
How does it work?
That’s the best part of an eSIM. Traditional SIMs have become so small that it’s a pain to change them with their itsy-bitsy size. Also, if you don’t do it right, there is a slim chance you might get it stuck, or damage the phone’s internals. An eSIM simply requires activation remotely. You have to talk to your carriers to activate that SIM and they will give you a number that will be assigned to the eSIM. When you want to change the carrier, you simply talk to another service provider and the eSIM will be reset to accept another number.
Will it work in my country?
However, let it be known that only a handful of countries support an eSIM which thankfully includes India. But only two telcos – Reliance Jio and Airtel support Apple’s embedded SIM as of now. The full list of countries is as below. With Apple pushing the envelope, carriers in other regions might also be forced to accept the new tech and introduce the service.
Austria, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, India, Spain, the UK, and the US.
With the embedded SIM, Apple intends to address the dual SIM issue that has plagued iPhone users in developing countries like India and China. The ease of access brought by an eSIM could also spark another price war as iPhone users are just a call away from changing service providers.
What do you think about the new iPhones? What do you like about them? What do you hate about them? Talk to us in the comments section.