eSIM on the iPhone, everything you need to know

SIM cards have evolved over time. Their sizes have been shrinking. However, the future of these cards goes through the eSIM, virtual cards that no longer take up space on computers. But do you know how they work? Do you know if you can put an eSIM in the iPhone? We explain everything you need to know about these new smart cards.

Almost all mobile operators on the market offer these new eSIM cards in their catalogue. They have many advantages that we will explain belowbut first you should find out if your particular operator offers this service and how to activate it on the iPhone.

SIM card evolution

Different sizes of SIM cards

Over the years, the SIM card has evolved, especially in size and contact storage capacity. And it is that Its first foray into the market was in 1990. However, back then these types of cards were reminiscent of a credit card. It is also true that the mobile phone market has also varied a lot, especially in size. Since its birth, it has undergone three significant changes to reach what we currently know as nanoSIM.

Likewise, the demands of the market have meant that SIM cards have evolved to a much more compact size. Because? Well basically to be able to save space inside the designs of the smartphones and its components. Such are the demands that the future of physical SIM cards is in question. From there, eSIM cards are heard and already offered, virtual cards that should not be placed inside the body of mobile phones and that would allow more than one number to be used on a single device.

Mobile manufacturers want to eliminate the SIM inbox

SIM card tray on iPhone

Smart phones have little room for improvement: perhaps more powerful processors, impossible cameras and more or less attractive designs. However, when the user is going to choose a new model, he wants a compact design, with little weight and an increasingly thin chassis. In this way it is achieved a very wearable team throughout the day and that does not penalize while being held in the hand.

Therefore, if they remove the tray in which the SIM card is housed, They will gain interior space and will be able to have much thinner profiles than the current ones.. In short: more attractive designs for the end user.

Can you use an eSIM card on the iPhone?

Apple was one of the first that wanted to bet on this type of virtual cards. So the answer to the question is: yes, the iPhone can use eSIM cards. What’s more, if you have the latest version of the iOS operating system and you go to Settings>Mobile data and you will see that in the middle of the menu that appears is the option ‘Add eSIM‘.

However, the steps to follow will depend on your operator: there are operators that do not yet have the service, some that already have it in their service catalogue, although in the latter group, some charge and others do not.

What should you take into account to use an eSIM on the iPhone?

eSIM settings on iPhone

To access an eSIM card you have two ways to do it. Everything will depend on whether it is a new line or you are already a client of the mobile operator and want to switch to this virtual version.. In the first case, you must indicate it at the time of contracting; in the second case, you should contact your operator and request it.

Once this is done, you will receive a QR code that you must scan with your iPhone’s camera. So it is preferable to open the QR code on a different device -on a computer, for example-. What’s more, if all the procedure takes its usual course, you will receive a PDF that you should always keep. Also, in that document that will be sent to you by email, you will also have available the PIN, PUK codes and the identification number of the eSIM card (ICC).

After reading the QR code, the procedure to follow is the usual one; that is, as if it were a conventional SIM card. Therefore, you must also wait for the relevant activation hours -here the waiting time will depend on each service company-.

If I change my terminal, can I transfer an eSIM to another iPhone? And what if I delete the eSIM by mistake? or, if my iPhone is stolen, what should I do?

I use eSIM on the iPhone

Another aspect to take into account is when changing the terminal and taking the associated number of that eSIM. And it is that the QR code is associated to be used on a certain device. Therefore, in case you have to change your mobile, you must request a duplicate and a new QR code will be generated What should you read in the new smartphone.

Now, if for some reason, you deleted the eSIM from the main terminal by mistake, you should not request a new QR; only You must enter the data as when you received the QR code in your email.

And in case of theft, you only have to cancel the eSIM through your operator; the same action as if a mobile phone with a conventional SIM card was stolen.

Advantages of using an eSIM on the iPhone and on any compatible mobile

Dual eSIM on the iPhone

As we have already mentioned, by not having to insert a physical SIM card into the terminal, we will allow the mobile phone industry to create thinner and lighter terminals. Likewise, as End users will also be able to avoid failures in the SIM card circuitssince eSIMs are virtual and unless you want to change the number, it will continue to be valid until the end.

On the other hand, one of the main advantages of this type of virtual chips is the possibility of using more than one mobile number from a single terminal. Although many of the devices on the market only allow the use of a card with these characteristics, the iPhone can hold up to a total of 20 different numbers. This option is available from the iPhone XS. Therefore, you will be able to receive and make calls from more than one number without having to resort to the use of two devices. However, if you want to use more than one number under your name, you should ask your operator what the price of this service is.

Also, you should also know that both the iPad and the Apple Watch are compatible with these eSIM cards. The first of them, like the iPhone, can hold up to 20 numbers, while the smart watch is compatible with a single number.