Install eSIM on apple watch directly?

chmac7

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 17, 2013
15
4
My carrier supports eSIM multi-card. I have 3 sim cards on the same number. They all ring. I can replace any of those 3 cards with an eSIM.

However, my carrier does not say that they explicitly support the Apple Watch.

Is it possible to install an eSIM directly onto an Apple Watch? Or the same question put another way, if I have all the details of an eSIM, can I somehow get that information into an apple watch?

EDIT: YES, it is possible. If your provider supports issuing an eSIM with the same phone number, you can install that via the Apple Watch app.
 
Last edited:

deeddawg

macrumors G3
Jun 14, 2010
8,323
2,195
US
Not aware of any way to do so, but what is your goal?

Typically (US) the carrier assigns the watch its own number but bonds it within the carrier system such that it looks just like your phone's # -- calls from the watch come from that number, and calls to that number ring the watch even if the phone is switched off.
 
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chmac7

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 17, 2013
15
4
Most carriers I've seen in Germany have the option to have the same number on up to 3 sim cards. So a call on any of them rings on all of the devices. I currently have this on 3. I understand that the Apple Watch uses the same concept so the watch and the phone can both ring even if they're not connected (say I'm out without my phone).

@deeddawg My goal would be to get the apple watch working with a carrier that supports this configuration but does not explicitly support the apple watch.
 

chmac7

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 17, 2013
15
4
@DeanLubaki Thanks. I figured that was probably the case, but couldn't find definite confirmation anywhere. I'll reach out to my carrier just in case they really do support the apple watch but haven't written about it yet. Seems unlikely, but... :)
 
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chmac7

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 17, 2013
15
4
Quick update to say that I think you were mistaken @DeanLubaki. I've got the Apple Watch 5, spent the extra money on the LTE version just in case. My provider supports what they call MultiCard which means up to 3 sim cards all get the exact same number, so they all ring at the same time. I was able to replace one of the existing physical SIMs and install that onto my watch via the watch app. I don't believe my provider has done anything specific to support the Apple Watch explicitly. They're a notoriously crappy bargain budget operator, so they tend to avoid anything that costs any extra money!

Bottom line, delighted to have my watch online!
 

akidokraja

macrumors member
Jan 19, 2013
59
43
Quick update to say that I think you were mistaken @DeanLubaki. I've got the Apple Watch 5, spent the extra money on the LTE version just in case. My provider supports what they call MultiCard which means up to 3 sim cards all get the exact same number, so they all ring at the same time. I was able to replace one of the existing physical SIMs and install that onto my watch via the watch app. I don't believe my provider has done anything specific to support the Apple Watch explicitly. They're a notoriously crappy bargain budget operator, so they tend to avoid anything that costs any extra money!

Bottom line, delighted to have my watch online!
I am very interested in this. Could you please explain the exact procedure from when you open the Watch app on the iPhone. Thanks!!
 

sharpimage

macrumors member
Sep 19, 2018
48
53
does your provider have their own network or do they piggy back on one of the main networks. And does that network support Apple watch.

or just say who your provider is please?
 

chmac7

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 17, 2013
15
4
The carrier is branded simplytel.de which is a brand of a MVNO called Drillisch which is based on O2 which does support the apple watch. However, I believe eSIM provisioning is outsourced to Gemalto, and as I understand it, this is handled by the MVNO and not by O2.

I can also share that I activated 2 separate eSIMs, one for the iPhone itself and one for the watch. They were both activated in the same method. I first had to choose which SIM (hardware or eSIM) I was activating onto the watch, then scan the carrier's provide QR code, and then the watch activated after a minute or so.

I can't say definitively, but in my estimation, I'm 85% confident that there is no specific proprietary Apple Watch version of the eSIM. The requirement seems to be only that the phone number on the eSIM is the same as the primary SIM.
 

DeanLubaki

macrumors 6502a
May 29, 2014
736
588
Toronto
The carrier is branded simplytel.de which is a brand of a MVNO called Drillisch which is based on O2 which does support the apple watch. However, I believe eSIM provisioning is outsourced to Gemalto, and as I understand it, this is handled by the MVNO and not by O2.

I can also share that I activated 2 separate eSIMs, one for the iPhone itself and one for the watch. They were both activated in the same method. I first had to choose which SIM (hardware or eSIM) I was activating onto the watch, then scan the carrier's provide QR code, and then the watch activated after a minute or so.

I can't say definitively, but in my estimation, I'm 85% confident that there is no specific proprietary Apple Watch version of the eSIM. The requirement seems to be only that the phone number on the eSIM is the same as the primary SIM.
@chmac7 , can you please take screenshots of the process? It is not documented anywhere and so I am very surprised to hear this. If there’s a fee for you to set it up again, I’d be glad to PayPal you the fee.
I would like to add it to this Knowledge base: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/esim-dual-sim-q-a-ios-13.2184827/
 

chmac7

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 17, 2013
15
4
@chmac7 , can you please take screenshots of the process? It is not documented anywhere and so I am very surprised to hear this. If there’s a fee for you to set it up again, I’d be glad to PayPal you the fee.
I would like to add it to this Knowledge base: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/esim-dual-sim-q-a-ios-13.2184827/
I'm not sure what I'd take screenshots of. I went through the activation process for mobile data on the watch. It asks which SIM I'm adding to the watch. Then I scan a regular eSIM QR code. Then it took a few minutes and it was done.

I think the key thing is that not all operators support multiple SIM cards on one number. This is common in Germany, all the major networks support it. But maybe not in other countries...