How dual SIM and eSIM work in iPhone XS

Apple has introduced dual SIM support with the launch of iPhone XS. The dual SIM support is divided into two types of implementations. If you are in China, you can put two different nano-SIMs in your iPhone to use two cellular connections. However, for rest of the world, the mechanism is different as it involves the use of a nano-SIM and eSIM. Since an eSIM is used, it requires support form the operator for two cellular connections to be used on an iPhone.

Dual-SIM and eSIM work in iPhone XS and iPhone XR

eSIM in iPhone XS

Embedded SIM, like the name implies, has the SIM integrated into the phone rather than as a physical card. Your entire experience and interactions are done by scanning QR codes with carriers to sign on to new or existing networks, saving you the trouble of pocketing or putting your physical SIM in a safe place when you travel. While eSIM is a relatively old feature for a lot of the cellular models of iPad and the Apple Watch Series 3 (Cellular), it has only now made its way to the iPhone. With 2018 iPhones, Apple has introduced Dual System Dual Standby (DSDS) by using eSIM.

Dual SIM in iPhone XS

When we come to standard run of the mill dual SIM phones, you have phones that can fit 2 nano-SIMs or variations of it, into a tray so that you have 2 numbers active on a single phone. This does not require any infrastructure support by carriers and is a commonly used feature in Asian countries.

Dual SIM Phones have a number of benefits as you can mix and match various combinations to fit your lifestyle:

  • 1 SIM dedicated to calls and 1 SIM for data packages
  • 1 SIM for home calls and 1 SIM for work calls
  • 1 SIM for your home network and 1 SIM for when you travel and want to use an international carrier for cheaper call/data plans

If the above sounds enticing to you, you will be disappointed to hear that the it is only applicable for iPhone XS Max models sold in China. Outside of China, iPhones will operate with a Nano-SIM + eSIM combination, support for which will be enabled through a software update for iOS 12, with a release time set for later this year. So until the software update, the phone will be a traditional single SIM phone. Until the eSIM update is pushed in a later version of iOS 12 for the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, you will not be able to activate your eSIM with any operator in the supported countries.

With all this in mind, what do you now think of the iPhone XS and XS Max? Will it affect your purchase decision? Let us know in the comments section below!