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iPhone 11 Pro Should I exchange e-SIM version for locked version?

MareLuce

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 26, 2010
796
289
I think I made a mistake in ordering the e-SIM version...

Ugh.
I should have researched this more before I made the spontaneous decision to order the e-SIM version iPhone this morning.

I travel a lot for work internationally. US cellular provider is ATT. Next year I'll need SIMS for the UK, Norway, Austria, Germany, Singapore, maybe China, Canada, and Dubai; a personal trip over Christmas 2020 for their World Fair. ( So psyched for their Expo2020.) .

E-SIM Huge downsides described in this recent thread:
Reason 1: Poor availability of providers (I think one in the UK, and none in some countries)
Reason 2: Higher costs (eSIM data charges are a crime against humanity)
Reason 3: Digital locks imposed by some providers (your phone belongs to AT&T if you ever use them)
Reason 4: Lower portability (you need to ask permission to change carrier in emergencies or new phones)

#1 seems right from skimming this thread
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/list-of-esim-providers-prepaid-vs-postpaid.2169371/

Needing to deal with ATT LESS was actually my main motivation when I made the snap decision to go e-SIM. 2 yrs ago during my first time in Dubai airport, I discovered my iPhone was still locked. I was certain I followed all the unlocking instructions. But it wasn't, so I had to buy some bizarre $100 Samsung Galaxy Prime world model...

My options seem to be:

A) Return the e-SIM version and exchange for ATT locked phone

B) Keep the e-SIM version and use my XS Max as my unlocked phone when traveling intl.

I will still have the XS Max with me. 2 iPhones always live in my purse. Current Version + (N-1) Version. Blue cased phone = Work. Red cased phone = Play / family. People ask if that's a reference to The Matrix Blue Pill / Red Pill decision. It's not. I just like those colors.

3 Questions:

1) Is there ANY reason to keep the e-SIM version vs returning it?

2) Any other considerations to above or errors in my assumptions?

3) Is this the first year that unlocked phones were orderable on pre-order day?
 

Banglazed

macrumors 68040
Apr 17, 2017
3,492
3,969
Cupertino, CA
The device is a Dual SIM (physical SIM + eSIM) combined. However, device needs to be unlocked in order to use another SIM for a different carrier. All options are unlocked unless you chose AT&T Next. If the device is unlocked, you can request AT&T or any supported carrier for an eSIM and reserve the physical SIM slot for travel. If you want the Dual physical SIM slot, you will need to get the models in China. See here SIM-free version was available last year as well because there was only one modem supplier, Intel.

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MareLuce

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 26, 2010
796
289
The device is a Dual SIM (physical SIM + eSIM) combined. However, device needs to be unlocked in order to use another SIM for a different carrier. All options are unlocked unless you chosen AT&T Next. If the device is unlocked, you can request AT&T or any supported carrier for an eSIM and reserve the physical SIM slot for travel. If you want the Dual physical SIM slot, you will need to get the models in China.

Thank you @Banglazed.

See here SIM-free version was available last year as well because there was only one modem supplier, Intel.
Sounds like my iPhone 11 XS Max should definitely be unlocked since that was via 1-time purchase.

On my trips this year I've (my company) paid the extra fee to ATT for the world coverage plan and not using a data SIM. For my trip to Dubai I definitely want to use their data SIM.
 
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