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DDustiNN

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jan 27, 2011
2,126
967
With every new phone, I have always just popped the SIM card out and put it in the new phone, fast and easy. Today at the Apple Store, the guy told me there was no SIM card in my 13 Pro, and he was activating it via eSIM. I had no idea.

Aside from activation, are there any performance advantages to one or the other? Or are they exactly the same?
 

Nacket

macrumors member
Sep 22, 2013
88
65
Phoenix, AZ
If you find yourself switching between devices frequently, physical SIMs are the way to go. Otherwise, eSIMs are superior IMO. Can’t pop it out if your phone is stolen, and the data on the eSIM is updated OTA without needing to go to a carrier store to get a new one. Activating eSIMs on Verizon has been a hassle personally, but they are fine past that point.
 

DDustiNN

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jan 27, 2011
2,126
967
If you find yourself switching between devices frequently, physical SIMs are the way to go. Otherwise, eSIMs are superior IMO. Can’t pop it out if your phone is stolen, and the data on the eSIM is updated OTA without needing to go to a carrier store to get a new one. Activating eSIMs on Verizon has been a hassle personally, but they are fine past that point.
My biggest concern is buying the iPhone 14 next year, and keeping my iPhone 13 payment plan (Verizon) active. Usually I’d just swap the SIM and no big deal. Not sure how that works if I have to actually “activate” a whole new phone.
 

Nacket

macrumors member
Sep 22, 2013
88
65
Phoenix, AZ
My biggest concern is buying the iPhone 14 next year, and keeping my iPhone 13 payment plan (Verizon) active. Usually I’d just swap the SIM and no big deal. Not sure how that works if I have to actually “activate” a whole new phone.
Shouldn’t be an issue! You won’t default on your payment plan or anything of the sort simply by changing your device. If you pay in full for a new device next year, the payment plan will continue unless you choose to do a trade-in, then the payment terms will reset with that device. Apple has baked in eSIM auto transfer into new versions of iOS so it should happen automatically when you set the device up. If you’re having trouble activating your phone like I am right now, it is probably not as smooth of a process on Verizon like Apple is hoping for it to be ?
 

Rigby

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2008
6,034
9,896
San Jose, CA
With iOS 15’s ability to track phone when off, if you use esim then if someone steals your phone you can always track it since they can’t just pull the sim or turn it off.
This actually works without a SIM, since it uses the "Find My Network", i.e. the phone is located through nearby Apple devices via Bluetooth LE.

Personally I prefer physical SIM for the main subscription, since you can easily swap it to a different phone without requiring approval by the carrier (and even if e.g. the old phone breaks and you can't approve an eSIM transfer on it anymore). It also allows you to use an international data plan via eSIM when traveling while leaving your phone number active through the physical SIM.
 
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seezar

macrumors 6502
Jan 18, 2018
483
454
This actually works without a SIM, since it uses the "Find My Network", i.e. the phone is located through nearby Apple devices via Bluetooth LE or UWB.

True, but someone not being able to disable the cellular connection can make find my even more robust. It’ll still work without any apple devices nearby.
 

seezar

macrumors 6502
Jan 18, 2018
483
454
This actually works without a SIM, since it uses the "Find My Network", i.e. the phone is located through nearby Apple devices via Bluetooth LE.

Personally I prefer physical SIM for the main subscription, since you can easily swap it to a new phone without requiring approval by the carrier. It also allows you to use an international data plan via eSIM when traveling while leaving your phone number active through the physical SIM.

The 13 supports dual esim.
 
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upandown

macrumors 65816
Apr 10, 2017
1,024
953
I’m using the eSIM on my 12, to verify will the transfer process be the same as two physical SIM cards?
 

alinefx

macrumors member
Mar 14, 2011
94
70
The 13 supports dual esim.
Here's a nice ongoing NIGHTMARE story going on with AT&T right now. Apparently this is currently a MOUNTAIN TO HIGH for the current level of tech support I am dealing with.

I have the 12PM with 2 #'s - one on ESIM and one on physical sim. I just want to move them to the new 13PM, but move them to the ESIMS instead. The upgrade for the 13PM was done on another #, currently active on an Android with a physical SIM.
So apparently, I have reached basement level tech support "we cant do e-sim without QR code" people which, after going through 2 levels of tech support and 1 dropped call, this current "Manager" has put me on hold for I dont know what. It is VERY frustrating.

Any idea what will happen if I pull out the SIM from the 12PM and stick it in the 13? I cant have the android phone disconnected as I will have to waste time going to the store, a root canal experience usually. Atleast if I can transfer the SIM # of the 12PM to the 13PM, then I can deal with the E-sim transfers later.

AT&T horrid as usual. Call center is out of country as usual, most of them cant comprehend my request properly due to language issues, and when they did, "we need QR code", leading to me telling them I have done e-sim transfers for years without QR codes.
 

seezar

macrumors 6502
Jan 18, 2018
483
454
Thieves can simply turn it off or put it in a Faraday bag.

iOS 15 supports findymy tracking when the iPhone is powered off. But yes a faraday bag would be hard to circumvent.

My point was just that esim makes it a bit harder to disable phone tracking. And makes it much harder to get it removed from a cell network.
 

Rigby

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2008
6,034
9,896
San Jose, CA
Any idea what will happen if I pull out the SIM from the 12PM and stick it in the 13?
It should simply work without any further action. I swap SIMs between my phones all the time.

Supposedly iOS 15 has a function to transfer a physical SIM to an eSIM, so you may even be able to do that (if it works, you could circumvent the incompetent support persons).
 

alinefx

macrumors member
Mar 14, 2011
94
70
It should simply work without any further action. I swap SIMs between my phones all the time.

Supposedly iOS 15 has a function to transfer a physical SIM to an eSIM, so you may even be able to do that (if it works, you could circumvent the incompetent support persons).
Yes it does, I saw the prompt to transfer SIM to e-SIM but I had gotten ATT to do it eventually anyway (after finally reaching ADVANCED TECHNICAL SUPPORT LINE (say it like Dr EVILS 1 BILLION DOLLARS), but when resetting it to restore, lost both E-sim #'s (even though I chose the option to keep it), so when restoring, it kept looking to the older 12PM for the "cellular plans" which had already been disconnected from the 12PM so it didnt work.

I should have probably just done a straight transfer without calling ATT at all - should have realized apple is a lot more efficient than ATT is and made switching phones include this feature as well.
 

alinefx

macrumors member
Mar 14, 2011
94
70
Confirmed: second call right now to ATT , they need to transfer me to ADVANCED TECHNICAL SUPPORT LINE. SO 2x esim transfers as of today seem to be relegated to them.
 

kevink2

macrumors 68000
Nov 2, 2008
1,757
266
This actually works without a SIM, since it uses the "Find My Network", i.e. the phone is located through nearby Apple devices via Bluetooth LE.

Personally I prefer physical SIM for the main subscription, since you can easily swap it to a different phone without requiring approval by the carrier (and even if e.g. the old phone breaks and you can't approve an eSIM transfer on it anymore). It also allows you to use an international data plan via eSIM when traveling while leaving your phone number active through the physical SIM.
Since the new phones can have 2 active lines on eSIMs at the same time, that is less of an issue than previous phones. I've been unable so far to convert my physical SIM to an eSIM on my 12 Pro. 3 weeks ago the ATT store was out of their eSIM QR cards. The new iOS 15 has an option to convert it to eSIM but that is currently not working for me with my ATT Prepaid plan, even though Prepaid supports eSIM. Drove past the ATT store yesterday, many cars in parking lot.
 

TheColtr

macrumors 6502
Feb 1, 2014
437
407
California
If you find yourself switching between devices frequently, physical SIMs are the way to go. Otherwise, eSIMs are superior IMO. Can’t pop it out if your phone is stolen, and the data on the eSIM is updated OTA without needing to go to a carrier store to get a new one. Activating eSIMs on Verizon has been a hassle personally, but they are fine past that point.
One thing I’ll add, as someone who has used Verizon esim for the past few years, this year I was able to log into the Verizon website and activate esim on my own. In years past it took an hour on the phone with Verizon to get esim activated. This year I was don’t within ten minutes and did it all by myself.
 
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TheColtr

macrumors 6502
Feb 1, 2014
437
407
California
I'd like to know if you upgraded to iPhone 13 with AT&T, does it shipped with a SIM card or not?
All iPhones purchased from apple do not have a sim card. They are all activated with esim. This allows more people to get phones and less SKUs because the phones are no longer carrier dependent from the start. Essentially they are all unlocked until activated.
 
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rperalta

macrumors 6502
Aug 19, 2007
491
46
Hercules, CA
All iPhones purchased from apple do not have a sim card. They are all activated with esim. This allows more people to get phones and less SKUs because the phones are no longer carrier dependent from the start. Essentially they are all unlocked until activated.
Thanks! I purchased from ATT's website. I wonder if it's the same.
 
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