eSIM + Dual SIM Q&A

Discussion in 'iOS 12' started by DeanLubaki, Oct 27, 2018.

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  1. DeanLubaki, Oct 27, 2018
    Last edited by DeanLubaki: Dec 27, 2018

    DeanLubaki macrumors 6502

    DeanLubaki

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #1
    This thread will focus on all the questions not covered by Apple. Thanks to njcyx6649250 for the help!

    Here are a few things you may want to know before diving in the Q&A:
    • There are three ways of activating an eSIM. Know which method your carrier uses, because that will determine how you get eSIM working on your phone:
      • Method #1 involves the carrier having physical QR Codes with an ICCID (just like a normal SIM card). When you activate via this method, all the carrier need is the ICCID on the card. The eSIM swap process is identical to a normal SIM's. AT&T does that.
      • Method #2 involves the carrier collecting your EID (eSIM ID) and the secondary IMEI. Then, you need to scan the QR Code or enter manually your carrier's SM-DP+ address, and your phone will automatically retrieve the SIM profile. (Verizon and T-Mobile do that).
      • Method #3 involves using a carrier app. T-Mobile USA, Verizon, Gigsky and Truphone do that. The process is easy and transparent for the user.
    • Any carrier that supports one of the activation methods above (or GSMA methods) can support the iPhone, even if Apple does not list them officially. (eSIM+ is an example)
    The following devices have an eSIM: iPhone XS, XS Max, XR; iPad Pro (2018)

    Here are the support documents by Apple:
    Read more about the eSIM GSMA standard here.

    This post is a wiki, so if you have an eSIM, see a question and know the answer, feel free to add the question and the answer.
    General Questions

    Q: Does the eSIM survive a restore?
    A: Yes.

    Q: Does that mean I can always locate a lost iPhone?
    A: No. In fact, Apple missed what could have been the greatest feature of all time: as per these screenshots and video, an iPhone with eSIM activated has the eSIM profile persist restores, even DFU restores. That means that a thief can’t just throw away your SIM and call it a day.
    BUT… It can’t be located. It won’t get past Activation Lock, but you won’t be able to locate it either even though your lost phone is technically connected to the internet.
    Fix that, Apple.​

    Q: Can you set up eSIM out of the box?
    A: No. iOS 12.1 doesn’t allow an eSIM to be set up out of the box: the iPhone needs to be set up to scan a QR Code (tried on iPhone XR restored with 12.1 beta).​

    Q: Can you re-use a eSIM QR code card to transfer the service on another phone (like swapping a physical SIM)?
    A: No. Once it has been activated with a phone, it can't be used on another phone.​

    Q: Can you use the same QR code to add your eSIM account back, if you accidentally delete your eSIM account?
    A: Yes but only for a limited time. I was able to delete and re-add an AT&T eSIM, but after two days it wouldn't​

    Q: If I mistakenly lost my eSIM QR card, which has been used to activate my current line, do I need to worry about?
    A: No. It can only be used with your phone.​

    Q: Can I use Wi-Fi calling on both lines?

    A: Yes.
    Q: Any special tips to activate eSIM card?
    A: Your phone must be connected to Wi-Fi when activating the eSIM, because it needs internet to retrieve the profile.
    Q: Why does my iPhone have two different IMEI/MEID?
    A: the "Primary" IMEI is the IMEI of the physical SIM slot, and the "Digital SIM IMEI" is for the eSIM. Because the iPhone XR/XS is dual-standby (can be connected to two carriers at the same time), the IMEI can't be the same for two active SIMs.​

    Q: Is there a hidden dual-SIM tray on iPhone XS Max and XR sold outside of China?
    A: No.
    Q: How many eSIMs can I store on my phone?
    A: More than 3 for sure, but the limit is unknown.
    Q: Can I use dual-sim with two eSIMs?
    A: No. Dual-SIM is only with one eSIM and one physical SIM.
    Q: Is it better to use eSIM or a physical SIM with my main carrier?
    A: It depends. If when you travel, you want to set-up a GigSky plan on your phone, you won't be able to use both your home carrier and GigSky because you can do dual-SIM only with one eSIM and one physical SIM.
    On the other hand, having your main carrier on eSIM means that someone can't just take the SIM out of your phone to get 2FA codes.
    There are many variables to consider.​

    Q: Can I turn off the eSIM?
    A: Yes.

    Q: Can the physical SIM be turned off too?
    A: Yes, with iOS 12.1.1.
    Q: Can I use WhatsApp with two phone numbers?
    A: No.
    Q: Does the Apple Watch support Dual-SIM too?
    A: Yes! But not Dual-Standby and:
    • The keypad dialer will always use the default line
    • When dialing using Contacts or recent calls, it will respect the tags assigned (Primary or Secondary for example)
    • The Apple Watch can have more than one eSIM plan: if your secondary SIM provider supports the Watch, then you can add it too (it's greyed on my screenshots because I am roaming).
    Q: Can the eSIM roam?
    A: Yes.
    Q: Can I send an iMessage/SMS to the same person from different line?
    A: Yes, but before you can start using a different line for an iMessage/SMS conversation, you need to delete the existing conversation and start a new one.

    Q: What happens if someone sends an iMessage/SMS to a different line?

    Q: My phone is locked. What do I do?
    A: If your phone is locked, you must unlock both IMEIs (the Physical SIM IMEI and the eSIM IMEI). Unlocking only one of them doesn't work.
    Q: How to permanently remove the eSIM profiles?
    A: Restoring your device does not erase the eSIM.
    If you're planning to sell your eSIM device (iPhone or iPad Pro 3rd Gen), do not simply restore your phone. Restoring your phone through iTunes will not erase the eSIM!

    The only way to erase the eSIM profiles is in the device's settings.
    You need to go in Settings > General > Reset.
    There, you have two choices:
    - Tap Remove All Data Plans, then restore by any method or;
    - Erase All Content and Settings, and click "Erase All" when prompted.​

    Carrier Specific Questions
    T-Mobile USA (Travel to USA, Voice, Data and SMS)
    Truphone (International Travel)
    Gigsky (International Travel, data only)
    eSIM+ (International Travel, data only)
    Ubigi (International Travel, data only)
    (thanks @OpenTeq )
    Bell Canada
    EE UK eSIM Activation Page / EE Support Page
    Globe Telecom
    Ooredoo Qatar eSIM Page
    T-Mobile USA (also see this post)
    Verizon Dual-SIM page
    (thanks @rbalkun)
    Virgin Mobile Canada eSIM Page
    Vodafone Germany eSIM Page
    Vodafone Qatar
    (thanks @M.Rizk)
     
  2. njcyx6649250, Oct 27, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018

    njcyx6649250 macrumors member

    njcyx6649250

    Joined:
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    #2
    Here are some other inputs:

    (Disclaimer: the above and following information are based on our ATT eSIM card tests and discussions (forum link). unofficial. only for your reference. maybe significantly changed later)

    Q: Can you use the same QR code to add your eSIM account back, if you accidentally delete your eSIM account?
    A: Yes.
    You can use your same phone to scan the same QR code, then it will add the previous eSIM account back. Please note if your phone has been changed (IMEI changed), or if you have switched your account from this eSIM to standard SIM card, the activation on this eSIM card including this QR code will be expired. Then you need to obtain a new eSIM card from the carrier. By the same reason, it is recommend to take a picture of your original QR code, and save it for future use.

    Q: If I mistakenly lost my eSIM QR card, which has been used to activate my current line, do I need to worry about?
    A: No (at least for ATT).
    This QR code has already been used to activate your line. Even a bad guy obtains this QR card somehow, he cannot use this card to activate any lines or transfer your line out of your phone. This QR card can only be used to activate 1) this specific activated phone and 2) your number.

    Q: Can this eSIM card (ATT) be used to activate prepaid account? Or does it require a postpaid account?
    A:
    Based on multiple DPs, eSIM card can be activated on postpaid ATT account. Based on DeanLubaki's test, eSIM card can also be activated on prepaid ATT account (Yeah!). He uses ATT prepaid phone automated system to update ICCID & IMEI. Online updating may also work. Needs more DPs.

    Q: I ordered this iPhone through carrier and this phone is locked, can I still use eSIM card?
    A: (Needs more DPs).
    If your phone is locked, you may still use eSIM card feature, but you can only use the same carrier for eSIM account and standard SIM account. For example, if your phone is ATT locked, you can only use ATT for eSIM and ATT for standard SIM. You cannot use tmobile for eSIM. ATT prepaid or MNVO may also work in locked phone.

    Q: Is there any difference for unlock process?
    A:
    (Needs more DPs). You need to submit two unlock requests. One for standard SIM IMEI. Another for eSIM IMEI. See Post #22.

    Q: Can I use WIFI calling on both lines?
    A:
    Yes, if your line supports WIFI calling. See picture in Post #25.

    Q: My nearby ATT doesn't have eSIM. What can I do?
    A:
    1) Show the ATT agent eSIM picture, then ask for it gently. 2) Try a different store. It doesn't matter it is company store or authorized retail store. 3) Book a ticket then fly to the closest store which has eSIM (I'm kidding). 4) Wait. More and more ATT stores are getting this eSIM card.

    Q: I got the eSIM card from store, but the ATT agent doesn't know how to use it.
    A:
    Teach that ATT agent how to use it (LOL). Ask him/her to update your IMEI (for eSIM), and also update the ICCID number on that QR card. Then you just scan the QR code and activate your line.

    Or you can grab an unused eSIM card and contact ATT customer service via online chat or phone support, to update these two information. You can just mention that you want to switch your SIM card. You don't need to mention it is eSIM which may cause some troubles.

    Please be nice to the ATT agents. iPhone eSIM function has not been officially released, and you may encounter some issues. ATT agents haven't been trained for this function yet. (I have been using 12.1 beta 5 OS and also eSIM for couple days. No issues found. But you are at your risk.).

    Q: Any special tips to activate eSIM card?
    A:
    Your phone MUST BE CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET WHEN YOU SCAN YOUR QR CODE! Otherwise it will show errors like "Can not activate cellular plan at this time" (See Post #156) or "Cannot change your data plan now". When you request to update your ICCID and IMEI, your old standard SIM card will be expired (no service), and you cannot connect to cellular internet then.

    To be continued...
     
  3. DeanLubaki thread starter macrumors 6502

    DeanLubaki

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    #3
    Added :)
     
  4. john991 macrumors 68000

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    Ontario
    #4
    Did yours have a digital sim IMEI number BEFORE activating the eSim? For some reason I have this and didn’t activate an eSim as of yet.
     
  5. DeanLubaki thread starter macrumors 6502

    DeanLubaki

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    #5
    Yes, because you may need to give the IMEI of the eSIM to your carrier before it can be activated. And because it's dual-standby (can be connected to two carriers at the same time), the IMEI can't be the same for two active SIMs.
     
  6. Mayanja macrumors member

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    #6
  7. M.Rizk, Oct 28, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018

    M.Rizk macrumors 6502

    M.Rizk

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2015
    #7
    I would like to add the important points from the FAQ section of e-sim on Ooredoo Qatar

    Q: Will the eSIM work while roaming if the customer does not use the Nano SIM slot at all?
    A: Yes, it will work while roaming, without using a Nano SIM. More testing is under progress.

    Q: Is the eSIM service related to the serial number of the device or the QID (Qatari ID) number and what is the scenario if the customer wants to sell their device
    A: eSIM is related to eSIM ID (EID) which is unique per device and the service / MSISDN is associated with QID number. If the customer wants to sell his device – one needs to remove the eSIM profile from the device by clicking the eSIM profile on the phone and set remove Cellular/Data plan. Customer can then use the factory reset option as well.

    Q: How many numbers can the customer activate on 1 mobile eSIM?
    A: Testing is underway. As of now we have tested 5 numbers on one eSIM but only one number will be active at one time.

    Q: How do you install the eSIM?
    A: No need to open the device. A QR code will be provided to the customer and they need to go to the settings of the iPhone. From settings, this QR code will be scanned and the profile will be downloaded after few steps (instructions will guide the customer to complete the process)

    Q: How do I know whether my iPhone XS is ready for the eSIM?
    A: General > About. If you can see Digital eSIM parameter, then your iPhone XS is ready for eSIM.

    Q: What is the procedure in the case I lose my handset? How do I stop the SIM from operating?
    A: If you lose your handset:
    • Change your Apple ID/google ID password. By changing your Apple ID/Google ID password, you can prevent anyone from accessing your iCloud data/Android data or using other services (such as iMessage or iTunes or Google Play) from your missing device.
    • Login to iCloud / Android and set Lost mode on Find my iPhone/ Find my Device. If required, • Erase your device
    • Report your lost or stolen device to Police. Police might request the serial number of your device. Find your device serial number.
    • Report your lost or stolen device to Ooredoo. Ooredoo can disable the account eSIM, preventing phone calls, texts, and data use.
    New QR code will be generated if required (if replacement phone is supporting eSIM).

    Q: What is the procedure if I replace my handset? Explain eSIM compatible and from eSIM to normal sim if handset is not compatible?
    A: If you have registered your eSIM QR code to a first eSIM device such as the iPhone XS, your eSIM QR code will be linked to the first device you register it to. If you decide to switch devices in the future, you need to make sure the device is supporting eSIM and certified by Ooredoo and you may need to obtain a replacement eSIM QR Code by contacting Ooredoo. The usual eSIM replacement cost applies.

    Q: What are the different ways to apply for an eSIM?
    A: You can apply for an eSIM through Ooredoo shop, eShop or from any Ooredoo retails shop.

    Q: If I made factory reset or accidentally removed my eSIM Cellular plan, can I use the same QR code to re-activate my eSIM?
    A: Yes, you can re-use the same QR code up to 10 times. If you exceed 10 times, please contact Ooredoo. You may need to obtain a replacement eSIM QR Code. The usual eSIM replacement cost applies.

    Terms and Conditions

    • This QR Code is for your own use for the purpose of registering your eSIM profile and should be kept confidential. If you disclose this Code to others, you do so at your own risk. Ooredoo shall not be responsible nor liable for any such warranted or unwarranted disclosure on your part.
    • You will need to retain this QR Code for future re-registration of your eSIM profile. You can use this QR Code for re-registration on the same device up to 10 times. This QR code cannot be used to register your eSIM profile on more than one device.
    • If you wish to switch eSIM compatible devices, you must obtain a new QR Code in order to register your eSIM profile on the new device. In this case, you need to remove your eSIM profile from the existing device before registering your eSIM profile on the new device. To remove an eSIM profile go to your iPhone device settings and select 'Mobile Data' the phone number associated with the eSIM profile you want to remove, then select 'Remove Data Plan' and 'Remove Ooredoo Plan' to confirm selection.
    • Replacement of this QR Code is chargeable. Registration of the eSIM may not be initiated or completed and may be cancelled in case your QID does not match our records. This QR Code can only be uploaded by compatible iPhone models (iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR) operating iOS 12.1 or newer operating systems or other commercially available eSIM compatible devices.

     
  8. M.Rizk macrumors 6502

    M.Rizk

    Joined:
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    #8
    What I really want to know though, can one activate an e-SIM while roaming? I might get a new iPhone XS Max soon when traveling and wanted to know if it would be possible to activate the e-SIM I get before traveling or if it requires local coverage first?


    (Asking because normal SIMs require being activated on home network for first time use)
     
  9. DeanLubaki thread starter macrumors 6502

    DeanLubaki

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    #9
    Not it doesn't. At least, it might depend on the carrier.
    I've always been able to activate AT&T SIM cards in Canada before going to the US, including the eSIM. It even works and roams in Canada.
     
  10. SoN1NjA macrumors 68000

    SoN1NjA

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    #10
    I want to know if you put the dual SIM tray in the US iPhone can you use 2 physical SIM cards that way
     
  11. john991 macrumors 68000

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    #11
    No.
     
  12. M.Rizk macrumors 6502

    M.Rizk

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    #12
    Update from Ooredoo Qatar.

    An existing using doesn’t even need to visit the branch to get an e-SIM. Calling customer service or even sending them a DM on Twitter is enough. They will SMS (text) the user with a QR code! Wonder why AT&T in the US decided to go the physical old boring route.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. SoN1NjA macrumors 68000

    SoN1NjA

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    #13
    Have you personally verified this or at least provide backup info? One word replies are rarely insightful
     
  14. M.Rizk macrumors 6502

    M.Rizk

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    #14
    I don’t think Apple packed in a reader on both sides of the SIM tray.

    And even if they did, the iPhone part number is what decides which software you get. If yours didn’t ship with a Dual Nano SIM tray then it will never enable such a feature for you. Just like UAE iPhones never getting FaceTime despite having the same exact software (just a different variant that Apple pushes to such devices)
     
  15. SoN1NjA macrumors 68000

    SoN1NjA

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    #15
    FaceTime is a region settings thing though
     
  16. M.Rizk macrumors 6502

    M.Rizk

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    #16
    Not really. A UAE iPhone would never get FaceTime regardless of what region you set the device to, what region you actually live in (in case you buy one and travel abroad) or even what carrier you have. It will never ever offer FaceTime regardless of any variables.

    It is completely controlled by the part number (written on the back of the iPhone box, and inside General > About) which decides which variants of the software Apple will push to your device.

    Apple makes a few variant to comply with local regulations everywhere. For example, iPhone meant to be sold in Japan will always make the camera shutter sound when phone is set to silent regardless of what region you actually use the phone in. (Again, controlled by the part number).
     
  17. DeanLubaki, Oct 28, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018

    DeanLubaki thread starter macrumors 6502

    DeanLubaki

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    #17
    I included the link to the Ooredoo page :)
    --- Post Merged, Oct 28, 2018 ---
    No. And it's been verified by numerous teardowns.
    Also, only the XS Max and XR Asia gets two physical SIMs–not the XS.
     
  18. SoN1NjA macrumors 68000

    SoN1NjA

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    #18
    None of the teardowns talks specifically about the dual SIM or show a comparison

    And, the iFixit link you provided only talks about the tray

    --- Post Merged, Oct 28, 2018 ---

    I wasn’t aware it was part number, and yes I was aware Japanese phones can’t disable the shutter
     
  19. DeanLubaki thread starter macrumors 6502

    DeanLubaki

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    #19
    If you look at the parts you can see there's only one SIM reader not two.
     
  20. john991 macrumors 68000

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    Ontario
    #20
    If one had an un-activated AT & T sim without the barcode, can one activate the eSim using the add carrier option in iOS 12.1? If so what do I put for the SM-DP+ Box?
     
  21. DeanLubaki thread starter macrumors 6502

    DeanLubaki

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    #21
    No.
    The SM-DP+ is the address from which the phone downloads the SIM profile. You can't do that with any SIM card.
     
  22. dan9700 macrumors 68020

    dan9700

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    #22
    Can whatsapp use both on iphone with dual sim
     
  23. M.Rizk macrumors 6502

    M.Rizk

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    #23
    Not possible unless you can somehow install two WhatsApp clients (Jailbreak maybe?)

    Other option is wait for WhatsApp to support it, assuming they ever do? Which I really doubt considering their FAQ says they don’t support it which means they probably have no plans to support it.
     
  24. Banglazed macrumors 68020

    Banglazed

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    #24
  25. dan9700 macrumors 68020

    dan9700

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    #25
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