eSIM Functionality Available in iOS 12.1, But Carrier Support is Required

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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple's iOS 12.1 beta introduces support for the eSIM, aka a digital SIM that lets you activate a cellular plan from your carrier without needing to use a physical SIM card. In the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, the eSIM pairs with the included nano-SIM to enable dual-SIM functionality.

The eSIM in the new iPhone XS and XS Max was not available at launch, with Apple promising to activate it in a later update, which appears to be iOS 12.1.


eSIM settings are available by going to the Cellular section of the Settings app and choosing "Add Cellular Plan," which is the method used to add another cellular provider via the eSIM.

All contacts in the Contacts app also now list a "default [P] Primary" setting in iOS 12.1 which lets you change the default phone number that you contact each person with if you have multiple phone numbers.


According to German site iPhone-Ticker.de, some Deutsche Telekom users are able to use the eSIM feature in iOS 12.1 to add two SIMs to their iPhones. Carriers need to implement the eSIM feature before it will work, and Apple offers a list of carriers that plan to offer the eSIM it in a support document.

In the United States, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon plan to offer eSIM support, but the carriers likely won't roll out the feature until iOS 12.1 launches to the public.

Dual-SIM support with the eSIM is useful for people who use two cellular plans at once, such as for home or work, and it is also beneficial when traveling.

As Apple outlines on its website, both numbers used with a dual-SIM iPhone can make and receive voice calls and SMS/MMS messages, but an iPhone can only use one cellular data network at a time. That means if one number is on a call, a call to the other number will go to voicemail.

Both networks are active at once, however, and with dual-SIM enabled, you will see two carrier signal readings in the Control Center.


eSIM support will be available to everyone with an iPhone XS, XS Max (and future XR) when the iOS 12.1 update launches to the public. We've only had one beta of iOS 12.1 so far, so there is still a ways to go.

The iOS 12.1 update also includes support for Group FaceTime for up to 32 people, a new real-time Depth Control slider that can be used when taking Portrait Mode photos, and, with watchOS 5.1, new color watch face options in the Apple Watch app.

Article Link: eSIM Functionality Available in iOS 12.1, But Carrier Support is Required
 
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forrie

macrumors member
Mar 6, 2008
53
15



Apple's iOS 12.1 beta introduces support for the eSIM, aka a digital SIM that lets you activate a cellular plan from your carrier without needing to use a physical SIM card. In the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, the eSIM pairs with the included nano-SIM to enable dual-SIM functionality.

The eSIM in the new iPhone XS and XS Max was not available at launch, with Apple promising to activate it in a later update, which appears to be iOS 12.1.


eSIM settings are available by going to the Cellular section of the Settings app and choosing "Add Cellular Plan," which is the method used to add another cellular provider via the eSIM.

All contacts in the Contacts app also now list a "default [P] Primary" setting in iOS 12.1 which lets you change the default phone number that you contact each person with if you have multiple phone numbers.


According to German site iPhone-Ticker.de, some Deutsche Telekom users are able to use the eSIM feature in iOS 12.1 to add two SIMs to their iPhones. Carriers need to implement the eSIM feature before it will work, and Apple offers a list of carriers that plan to offer the eSIM it in a support document.

In the United States, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon plan to offer eSIM support, but the carriers likely won't roll out the feature until iOS 12.1 launches to the public.

Dual-SIM support with the eSIM is useful for people who use two cellular plans at once, such as for home or work, and it is also beneficial when traveling.

As Apple outlines on its website, both numbers used with a dual-SIM iPhone can make and receive voice calls and SMS/MMS messages, but an iPhone can only use one cellular data network at a time. That means if one number is on a call, a call to the other number will go to voicemail.

Both networks are active at once, however, and with dual-SIM enabled, you will see two carrier signal readings in the Control Center.


eSIM support will be available to everyone with an iPhone XS, XS Max (and future XR) when the iOS 12.1 update launches to the public. We've only had one beta of iOS 12.1 so far, so there is still a ways to go.

The iOS 12.1 update also includes support for Group FaceTime for up to 32 people, a new real-time Depth Control slider that can be used when taking Portrait Mode photos, and, with watchOS 5.1, new color watch face options in the Apple Watch app.

Article Link: eSIM Functionality Available in iOS 12.1, But Carrier Support is Required
[doublepost=1537984700][/doublepost]So I'm a little confused here. If we will have eSIM capability, will the XS be able to support dual "virtual" (eSIM) SIM cards for the same feature as two physical SIMs?
 

delhifox

macrumors member
Apr 4, 2018
39
16
TheSix
Bell Canada starts supporting it from Oct 19th. its unclear if they need Unlimited long distance as minimum requirement for it to work - a requirement for Apple Watch using the same tech aka NumberShare
[doublepost=1537984978][/doublepost]
[doublepost=1537984700][/doublepost]So I'm a little confused here. If we will have eSIM capability, will the XS be able to support dual "virtual" (eSIM) SIM cards for the same feature as two physical SIMs?
Well.. it depends on the XS model.. for all phones except for Chinese market iPhone XS - one of the sim has to be eSim and the other physical one.

For Chinese market phones, you have option of both SIM cards as physical sim.
 

cmaier

Suspended
Jul 25, 2007
18,029
16,025
California
It will be interesting to see if AT&T locks the eSIM to their network when you choose to activate it with them like they did with the iPad Pro eSIM.
Yeah. Those dicks.

I’m thinking a pre-paid T-Mobile esim situation when i travel can be helpful sometimes; every once in awhile i end up someplace where verizon coverage is a bit spotty but the historically-gsm networks work ok.
 

Jbobby22

macrumors newbie
Nov 15, 2017
12
2
is there any carrier duos you cant use? I thought I read that you wont be able to use sprint and verizon together on this?
 

jessebkr87

macrumors 6502
Sep 13, 2016
278
98
is there any carrier duos you cant use? I thought I read that you wont be able to use sprint and verizon together on this?
You can’t use two CDMA carriers at the same time. So if Verizon is one SIM then the other has to be a GSM carrier.

I don’t know if this will change when, for example, Verizon shuts down their CDMA network next year.
 

Jbobby22

macrumors newbie
Nov 15, 2017
12
2
You can’t use two CDMA carriers at the same time. So if Verizon is one SIM then the other has to be a GSM carrier.

I don’t know if this will change when, for example, Verizon shuts down their CDMA network next year.
Thank you that sucks. I have sprint and my work is verizon. Was really excited to put them together! Is there a reason why this does not work? I dont have much knowledge of cellular networking..
 

yes3sir

macrumors newbie
Apr 25, 2018
15
243
Any update about the LTE/WiFi issue some people were facing on their Xs? Or did it get resolved?
 

Zadigre

macrumors regular
Aug 7, 2011
128
87
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Forgive my noobness, but can an eSim be used with a VOIP service, like voip.ms?
no.
VOIP.ms is not a cell phone providers.
eSIM is available to cell phone providers that are supporting this technology... the only advantage for the eSIM is that you can actually activate a line right away without the need of a physical SIM. but besides that, there's no difference with a physical sim.
 
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cmaier

Suspended
Jul 25, 2007
18,029
16,025
California
Thank you that sucks. I have sprint and my work is verizon. Was really excited to put them together! Is there a reason why this does not work? I dont have much knowledge of cellular networking..
CDMA and GSM use different types of antennas and hardware. There is only enough hardware for one CDMA network to work at a time. So you’d have to switch back and forth between one network and another instead of being able to keep one on standby.
 

Jbobby22

macrumors newbie
Nov 15, 2017
12
2
CDMA and GSM use different types of antennas and hardware. There is only enough hardware for one CDMA network to work at a time. So you’d have to switch back and forth between one network and another instead of being able to keep one on standby.

Gotcha! Now here is a bigger question. When and if tmobile and sprint merge will it all go to GSM or will it depend on the phone you have? Also, is verizon really switching to GSM?
 

mdntcallr

macrumors 65816
Aug 1, 2000
1,456
127
It will be interesting to see if AT&T locks the eSIM to their network when you choose to activate it with them like they did with the iPad Pro eSIM.
As an ATT client, i'm hoping that my ATT Next program phone, which is essentially a subscription to a phone you can upgrade ... will allow me to add another line on occasion without ATT restrictions. kind of worried about carrier restriction on the line 2 part esim.
 

MrGimper

macrumors 603
Sep 22, 2012
6,435
6,921
Andover, UK
I remember Orange had a feature called Line 2 which was 2 separate lines on one SIM, each could be billed separately. And this was in the 90's.

Then again, they had WildFire for voice-controlled answerphone, so there you go....
 
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Anarchy99

macrumors 6502a
Dec 13, 2003
972
970
CA
I hate how china got a superior phone to everyone else, a physical 2nd sim slot it way more convenient then virtual sims that need to be supported on a carrier basis, now if I decide to get the XS Max im going to have to figure out how to import the one i want :/
[doublepost=1537986267][/doublepost]
So how will internet be determined? As in like, if I have better service with a certain provider. Will the iPhone XS switch to the better signal?
 
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