Carrier What are the advantages of eSIM vs. dual physical SIM slots?


macrumors 65816
Original poster
Apr 22, 2009
Apple makes iPhones with dual physical SIM slots, but why does China get that version and the rest of the world gets eSIM? Seems that the dual physical SIM is easier to use than the eSIM version. To move your main phone number to the eSIM slot you have to go to your carrier to set it up for you. I was told they will then generate a QR code and then scan it into the eSIM. The carriers aren’t letting you move your number to the eSIM slot … they want to do it.


macrumors 68000
Oct 17, 2016
eSIM's are more convenient, allowing you to quickly change or add packages when travelling. Dual SIM requires you to go to a physical store and purchase a SIM, something that can be a little tricky when abroad. The reason China has dual SIM is because it's a large market for Apple, and there's no eSIM in China. Also it was the XR and XS MAX last year, the XS was still eSIM in China, don't know for this year.


macrumors G3
May 16, 2015
I’d say dual physical sim is a better option given that you can just insert the SIM and bam, you have cellular. Easy to do and convenient enough. eSIM on the other hand, highly depends on carrier support and their incentive to promote such technology. Telstra in Australia for example, is the last big telco that still refuses to support eSIM on iPhone XS Max, even though they have added eSIM support on Apple Watch already.


macrumors 603
Sep 29, 2009
Besides mainland China, Hong Kong also gets the version with dual physical SIMs. It will be good if you travel to a foreign country and buy a local data SIM for internet access/phone calls.
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macrumors 601
Apr 7, 2012
Eventually eSim will be the way to go, Apple just needs to push carriers across the world. Currently would rather have Dual Sim, but I can see where Apple wants to go.


macrumors 68000
Mar 6, 2009
In Asia places like China, Thailand and Hong Kong often have deals on prepaid data packages for traveler/tourists which you don’t get from Apple’s built in E-Sim. You normally only get 1 package to choose from and it is not the cheap one either.