A SIM card is a mandatory element of any mobile phone. Without it, a smartphone is useful for accessing the Internet via Wi-Fi, listening to music, and reading books. It is possible to send SMS, receive calls, and connect to mobile Internet.
The development of the electronics market has made it possible to replace a plastic SIM card with a virtual eSIM+ in some smartphone models. Now owners of iPhones can also use this.
How do you use eSIMs on iPhone? Let’s figure it out together.
What is eSIM?
eSIM is a special electronic SIM card that contains all the necessary information for the correct identification of the client by the mobile operator. It differs only in that it is a built-in microchip that can be linked to any mobile operator.
With it, you do not need to look for a paper clip to open the SIM card tray and replace it, everything is set in the phone settings. With an electronic card, you can also call, send messages, and use the Internet — its functionality is no different.
Not all devices support this technology, but only new ones: iPhone from version 11, Samsung Galaxy from model S20, Huawei from P40 and above, etc. Apple went the furthest and released a new iPhone 14 model without a SIM card tray at all (but not the entire range).
By 2025, it is predicted that at least half of all familiar devices working with SIM cards will be equipped with eSIM.
Pros and Cons of eSIM
A virtual SIM card has much more pros than cons:
- it cannot be lost or broken, unlike a fragile little physical card, because it is hidden deep in the phone;
- you can easily and quickly switch to another operator without going to the office or point of sale, eSIM is issued in the application;
- can be used in conjunction with a physical card: this is very convenient when traveling if you set your home number to eSIM, and for local calls, buy cards in each country;
- you can have several numbers from different operators connected to one eSIM, in the settings you only need to select the currently active one;
- eSIM is almost not susceptible to hacker attacks;
- the location with an electronic map is determined better and more accurately because providers control it by air.
The main disadvantage is that eSIM requires new and rather expensive smartphone models.
Which iPhones support eSIM?
Before activating the SIM on the iPhone, you need to familiarize yourself with the list of smartphones that support this function.
The fact is that not all iPhones can work with an eSIM. There is a list of models that do not support digital images. For example, they are not in the first iPhone models. They can only use regular SIM cards installed in a special slot on the phone.
More modern smartphone models are already equipped with a built-in eSIM.
These include the following versions of iPhones: 11, 12, 13, 14, XR, XS, SE2, and SE3.
How many eSIM can be linked to one iPhone?
The smartphone manufacturer does not say how many numbers can be connected to eSIM on one device. Due to the lack of restrictions, 5 numbers can be activated, but only one can be used at the same time: either on a regular SIM card or on an eSIM.
eSIM has a fundamental difference from a physical SIM card in that it is not just a subscriber identification module. The built-in card has a 10 MHz processor, permanent non-volatile memory, and controllers. eSIM is equipped with its operating system and borrows power from a smartphone.
Due to these properties, the SIM allows you to make multiple settings: bind to a new operator, as well as store several numbers at the same time.
How do you use eSIMs on iPhone?
To configure it, you need:
- Update your smartphone to the latest version of iOS (12.1 and higher).
- Enter the activation code received from the mobile operator (manually or through the app).
- Choose an eSIM service, with a suitable for you plan.
- Make a payment.
Then you need to connect the eSIM to your iPhone via a QR code. The activation algorithm is simple.
- Select “Cellular communication” by going to the “Setting” menu.
- Click on the notification about the detection of a cellular tariff.
- Scan the QR code.
- Enter the password to activate the sim (if necessary).
*Note: iPhone users should be aware of other nuances. On the official Apple website, there is a section “Contacting support.” If you have any difficulties or questions, you can use online communication with a specialist. In the search bar, enter “eSIM support” and find the topic of interest. Next, the site will offer you to choose one of two ways of feedback: by phone or in a chat.
Prospects of eSIM in the future
The development of the eSIM standard has just begun. The introduction of technology makes it possible:
- get rid of the slot occupied by the SIM card, which allows gadget manufacturers to create more waterproof mobile devices with an improved design;
- remotely change the operator or tariff plan;
- to abandon the SIM card tray, which will reduce the consumption of plastic and indirectly improve the state of the environment.
The built-in module instead of a plastic SIM card simplifies the transition of customers from one company to another. They also lose the profit that previously brought the sale of accessories and additional services in offline outlets.
The legislation slows down the spread of eSIM due to the vulnerable system of remote identification of customers. This process needs to be kept under control, and for this, it is necessary to develop new regulations.
But the pace of development of the global electronic SIM card industry is so fast that very soon these difficulties will require prompt solutions.
eSIM is another invention that improves our lives. This is an electronic built-in SIM card sewn into the phone at the factory. eSIM technology is supported only by new Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and Motorola devices. Such a SIM card cannot be lost in your pocket or forgotten, it is always in your phone.