Dual-SIM and eSIM technology in iPhone XS and iPhone XR enables use of two phone plans on ...

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 12
Apple is enabling purchasers of the iPhone XS and iPhone XR to take advantage of eSIM technology to set up two carrier connections, allowing customers to use different plans while roaming or to use two different phone numbers on the same device.




In order to offer dual-SIM support in the iPhone Xs, Apple is taking advantage of the eSIM technology used in the Apple Watch to act as a software-based SIM alongside a physical SIM card. Both are enabled on the iPhone at the same time, correspond to separate phone numbers, and can be set up with two completely different plans.

This can allow users to take advantage of local networks to save on roaming charges, by replacing the physical SIM card while keeping the eSIM for their home carrier. This also enables users to have a business line and a personal line, without needing two mobile devices.

To enable this, Apple has included what it calls Dual SIM Dual Standby technology, which will keep both SIMs functional, but will activate the relevant SIM for an incoming call from one of the two numbers.




Apple is working with a number of carriers to enable the eSIM, including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Vodafone, Bell, and others. To set up the eSIM, the carriers will offer a scannable QR code that can be read by the iPhone's camera, which then configures the eSIM with the required settings.

For China and other countries where eSIM technology will not be widely available, Apple is also producing a regional version of the iPhone XS models that can take two physical SIM cards, which fit on both sides of the SIM tray.

Keep up with AppleInsider by downloading the AppleInsider app for iOS, and follow us on YouTube, Twitter @appleinsider and Facebook for live, late-breaking coverage. You can also check out our official Instagram account for exclusive photos.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,334member
    This is a nice addition, the implementation is clearly a compromise with the carriers to get eSIM accepted by them.  

    Which makes it funny that on the feature video we had Ive in his deadening tones calling these phones completely uncompromising.

    Also, do any other dual sim phones have the one Sim tray like the Chinese iPhone version will have? Btw also a work around compromise as it is clear China did not agree to an eSIM.
  • Reply 2 of 17
    I have been sticking to two phones until now since data could not be figured out so far (is this website visit private or professional?) And I like to be able to receive messages on both numbers simulatanously, or generally all notifications. In my dreamworld I can forward all notifications from one number to another. Until then, yes, once for traveling but since my life does not include terminals and highways to the same anmount as it did in the past, I am not sure about a use case personally here. YMMV of course.
  • Reply 3 of 17
    Need to know more about iPhones XS Model A1920 & Model A1921 Cellular and Wireless modem, who makes it, Intel or Qualcomm? 
  • Reply 4 of 17
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,730member
    entropys said:
    This is a nice addition, the implementation is clearly a compromise with the carriers to get eSIM accepted by them.  

    Which makes it funny that on the feature video we had Ive in his deadening tones calling these phones completely uncompromising.

    Also, do any other dual sim phones have the one Sim tray like the Chinese iPhone version will have? Btw also a work around compromise as it is clear China did not agree to an eSIM.
    I'd like to be able to buy the Chinese model because I could definitely use the dual sim feature for traveling abroad.  I'm not really sold on the eSim quite yet but it should be fine once it gets full implementations on US carriers. I'd like to see how it can be set up by simply scanning a QR code. Have to wait and see, but I think I'll go for the Max 256 in gold. I still have an iPhone 6 and it works perfectly, now that the battery was replaced, but it is probably time to upgrade.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 17
    anomeanome Posts: 1,153member

    This could be very useful for me, especially as any new phone plan I get is likely to have better International roaming than my current one does.

    Only problem is Telstra wasn't on the list of supporting carriers. I suppose that's OK, as long as the overseas carrier is, but still...

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 17
    I’d like to be able to buy the Chinese model too.
  • Reply 7 of 17
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,334member
    I think you would want your primary sim to be the eSIM when travelling, so you can just swap sims whenever and not have to worry about availability of eSIM. The reverse would apply once eSIM is ubiquitous, but then there probably won’t be a physical sim at all.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 17
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,891member
    sergioz said:
    Need to know more about iPhones XS Model A1920 & Model A1921 Cellular and Wireless modem, who makes it, Intel or Qualcomm? 
    As far as I know, Apple is only using the Intel Modems.  Which are faster than the last version.  They also support CDMA and GSM so everyone is covered on a single chip.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 17
    I have been sticking to two phones until now since data could not be figured out so far (is this website visit private or professional?) And I like to be able to receive messages on both numbers simulatanously, or generally all notifications. In my dreamworld I can forward all notifications from one number to another. Until then, yes, once for traveling but since my life does not include terminals and highways to the same anmount as it did in the past, I am not sure about a use case personally here. YMMV of course.
    Solution: Google Voice.
  • Reply 10 of 17

    sergioz said:
    Need to know more about iPhones XS Model A1920 & Model A1921 Cellular and Wireless modem, who makes it, Intel or Qualcomm? 
    We will find out when iFixit disassembles and inspects the new iPhones on Friday, 9/21.
    edited September 12 watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 17
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,730member
    entropys said:
    I think you would want your primary sim to be the eSIM when travelling, so you can just swap sims whenever and not have to worry about availability of eSIM. The reverse would apply once eSIM is ubiquitous, but then there probably won’t be a physical sim at all.
    Probably take a long time before the eSim is ubiquitous. A lot of people in the developing world wouldn't necessarily have the ability to obtain the QR code to scan. If you need to have a hard copy of the QR code it could be a bit difficult in some countries where they don't have a physical address, mail delivery and no carrier store nearby. If you could receive the code by email you could print it out to scan it but most people in those developing nations don't have printers either. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 17
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,615member
    Models that can take two physical SIM cards, which fit on both sides of the SIM tray. Curious when holding iPhone horizontal and putting two sims on both side in tray. Doesn't the bottom SIM falls off and hard to keep in tray ? No wonder other phone manufacturers with dual SIM tray have two separate SIM slots in one tray.
    edited September 12
  • Reply 13 of 17
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,378member
    I like this.   I wonder who the modem manufacturer is? I thought both Intel and QualComm were out. 
  • Reply 14 of 17
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,787member
    All the dual SIM phones I've had had both SIM cards sitting in one tray (on the same side). Mostly, the second slot was a hybrid slot that would also accept an SD card. This option of late has not been hybrid on more recent phones. The tray only accepting SIM cards.
  • Reply 15 of 17
    Prior to availability of the new Xr/s/sMax, when I on board a new hire who already owns an iPhone, and whose role qualifies for a company-issued/paid iPhone, the employee had to decide if they would:
    1. Carry two phones (at least until their private device's contract expires or is cancelled)
    2. Accept compensation, and MDM management on their personal iPhone, to use their private number for work.  Compensation is a subsidy, not full reimbursement since their plan may exceed the needs of a company plan.
    Now it sounds like someone who already owns their own Xr/s/sMax can join my company and instead of my issuing them a 2nd iPhone with a plan I pay for, I might be able to just add the plan to their eSIM.  Vice versa, an employee who I issue an iPhone Xr/s/sMax to can go out on their own to add a personal plan to the eSIM.  Probably depends on each carrier but assuming the carrier I use supports eSIM, either scenario above should be possible.  I wonder if two plans from the very same carrier (my business plan, their personal plan) can be setup?
  • Reply 16 of 17
    Is there an actual difference between the China variant and the USA variant besides the dual-SIM tray?

    I assume so, but I haven't found any information that specifically states that is the case. I wonder if the Chinese variant also has eSIM capability. It seems expensive to manufacture two different models with different hardware, when their longterm goal has been to unify devices/bands/modems over the years.
  • Reply 17 of 17
    DCJ0001 said:
    I have been sticking to two phones until now since data could not be figured out so far (is this website visit private or professional?) And I like to be able to receive messages on both numbers simulatanously, or generally all notifications. In my dreamworld I can forward all notifications from one number to another. Until then, yes, once for traveling but since my life does not include terminals and highways to the same anmount as it did in the past, I am not sure about a use case personally here. YMMV of course.
    Solution: Google Voice.
    Love Google Voice, especially the transcriptions.
Sign In or Register to comment.