Other eSIM, do I have this right?

Paco II

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Once all the updates are deployed, do I have this right, that I'll be able to replace my current AT&T Sim with an eSIM (iPhone Xs) leaving the SIM tray available for local Sims when traveling internationally?
 

Paco II

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Ok one more question: I keep reading that eSIM is only supported in 10 countries. Once I am using AT&T via eSIM, will I be able to use that in countries that don't support eSIM when traveling? I guess what I'm asking does 'supported' refer to carriers in those countries offering eSIM for their own services, or the actual functionality of eSIM in those countries?
 

newyorksole

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Apr 2, 2008
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New York.
Ok one more question: I keep reading that eSIM is only supported in 10 countries. Once I am using AT&T via eSIM, will I be able to use that in countries that don't support eSIM when traveling? I guess what I'm asking does 'supported' refer to carriers in those countries offering eSIM for their own services, or the actual functionality of eSIM in those countries?
That’s a good question. I think it just has to do with the countries that actually allow you to setup their carriers via eSIM.

If you’re using AT&T eSIM I’m pretty sure it will work abroad the same way a physical SIM does since the phones have bands to support many carriers.
 

Paco II

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I am hoping that is the case. Just wasn't sure how much an eSIM is the 'same' as a regular Sim, or not. Thanks.

That’s a good question. I think it just has to do with the countries that actually allow you to setup their carriers via eSIM.

If you’re using AT&T eSIM I’m pretty sure it will work abroad the same way a physical SIM does since the phones have bands to support many carriers.
 

Paco II

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Thanks. Yeah I've been buying unlocked iPhones for as long as Apple has allowed us to purchase them as such. When traveling internationally it is so nice (and more affordable) to use a local SIM.

The other thing to keep in mind is if your phone is locked, both SIMs (eSIM and physical) are locked.
 

Mac'nCheese

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Feb 9, 2010
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So if you call your carrier and tell them to use the eSIM, they lock your phone? But if u just take your SIM card of the old phone and put it into the new phone, you new phone won’t be locked. Do I have that right?
 

alee

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Jul 13, 2008
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Ok one more question: I keep reading that eSIM is only supported in 10 countries. Once I am using AT&T via eSIM, will I be able to use that in countries that don't support eSIM when traveling? I guess what I'm asking does 'supported' refer to carriers in those countries offering eSIM for their own services, or the actual functionality of eSIM in those countries?
Yes. eSIMs are effectively still SIMs, just built into the phone and managed differently. From the network perspective you're still on your carrier even when traveling. The activation is the only thing that's different.
 
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now i see it

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One thing to be wary of when setting up a phone with only an eSIM and an empty SIM tray is you won't be able to just pop out the SIM and use it in another one of your phones.

Personally I'd set up the phone with a physical SIM chip and save the eSIM for traveling. Eventually everyone around the world will get on board with eSIM (except China).
 

alee

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One thing to be wary of when setting up a phone with only an eSIM and an empty SIM tray is you won't be able to just pop out the SIM and use it in another one of your phones.
We'll see how the setup is. Based on the Apple docs, it looks like you'll just download the carrier app and re-register your new phone via the carrier app.

Your concerns are valid until we see how easy it is to move between phones. When I do international travel, I usually have a spare phone in case something happens with my primary phone. It's an identical phone restored from backup so it's ready to go. I will need to be able to move from eSIM to eSIM when I need it.
Personally I'd set up the phone with a physical SIM chip and save the eSIM for traveling. Eventually everyone around the world will get on board with eSIM (except China).
First chance I get, I'm moving Verizon to eSIM and going to pop my Google Fi SIM into the slot.
 

mashinhead

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Oct 7, 2003
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Yes. eSIMs are effectively still SIMs, just built into the phone and managed differently. From the network perspective you're still on your carrier even when traveling. The activation is the only thing that's different.
How does it work when you're international and you want to manage roaming etc to avoid additional charges? Is that auto managed? How to outgoing calls work? Do you set a default dial out, or does it ask you every time?

How would it work if you had two phones for one SIM/LINE?

I think I would have preferred the China dual sim setup here.
 

alee

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Jul 13, 2008
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How does it work when you're international and you want to manage roaming etc to avoid additional charges? Is that auto managed? How to outgoing calls work? Do you set a default dial out, or does it ask you every time?

How would it work if you had two phones for one SIM/LINE?

I think I would have preferred the China dual sim setup here.
See the Apple guide linked above: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT209044

You can decide which SIM(s) are active, which one is primary, and which controls your data. You can choose which contacts use which SIM to dial out as well. The only difference for the non-China market is that one of your two lines has to be on the eSIM. For most domestic US users, you will probably do eSIM for your primary number and use the SIM tray when roaming, although you can use the eSIM for roaming and keep your SIM card for your primary as-is.
 

Paco II

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Now we just have to hope more cases have an opening for the SIM tray
 

TheMadBrewer

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Feb 11, 2008
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Marina del Rey, CA
How does it work when you're international and you want to manage roaming etc to avoid additional charges? Is that auto managed? How to outgoing calls work? Do you set a default dial out, or does it ask you every time?

How would it work if you had two phones for one SIM/LINE?

I think I would have preferred the China dual sim setup here.
From what I've read (obviously I don't know from experience :) ) is you specify one as Primary and the other become Secondary. This is the SIM that is used for data (with one exception, below). Incoming calls on either line can be answered but there is no call waiting -- if you are talking on one line when a call comes in on the other it goes to voice mail.

Outgoing calls default to the Primary SIM but this can be overridden. Plus you can specific which to use in the contact records -- so if you have a work and personal setup you can have work contacts be called on the work SIM and personal on the personal SIM.

The exception which SIM gets the data is you can specific one SIM as "Data only" -- it will be used just for data and all voice and SMS will use the other SIM.

You can store multiple eSIMs -- and so in theory have one for each country you visit (using the physical SIM for your home network). I don't have a clear idea how that exactly will work -- we'll hopefully find out soon. I expect at some point there will be vending machines in airports that spit out QR code for a prepaid SIM that you can just scan and go...

I have found T-Mobile's international roaming (2G) to useable for email and tweets and even Google maps (especially if I've cached the map data using my hotel's wifi) but I travel often to Germany and have a German SIM (Fonic) that I use when there. It is in my old Nexus 5X (was in a Nexus 5 until I cut the SIM to nano size) so I carry an extra phone. My next trip starts Oct 3 and I was disappointed to learn the eSIM won't work right out of the box. I've also bought local prepaid SIMs if there is a good deal.

There was a question about eSIM in countries not on the Apple list. I have a GlocalMe MiFi device that uses an eSIM and I've used it in countries not on the list, so my guess it just looks like a regular SIM to the network.
 
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alee

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Now we just have to hope more cases have an opening for the SIM tray
LOL, that'd an enormous amount of foresight and planning for the 1% of us that will really take advantage of this. I mean most Americans haven't ever gone overseas, let alone leave their town. Meanwhile we've been waiting forever for this very moment and can't wait to get started.
 
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