“What is eSim?” would probably be the most popular riddle in the minds of iPhone lovers. The latest lineup of iPhone models has made this term or feature (as we have it) so popular. Before the launch of the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR last week, not so many of us would have heard of eSIM and as a “not so popular feature”, we thought it might be so helpful for you to understand this concept.
One Physical SIM And One eSIM for iPhones
So now there’s the belief that iPhones support two carriers (mobile network) at once. Yes, technically it does. But unlike every other popular dual SIM phone, there’s is space for only a SIM while the other SIM is embedded or irremovable.
In some part of Africa or Nigeria precisely, they will like to think of this feature as ‘inbuilt-sim’ or ‘internal-sim’.😁 While China is the only country where we would find two physical SIM slots for the iPhone since the people have refused the use of eSIM.
A Little History On eSIM
eSIM debuted in the Samsung Gear S2 3G in 2016. However, it was the Apple Watch 3 that really brought eSIM technology into the limelight. The eSIM can be found on the Pixel 2 smartphone, although for the project File only, so it was limited.
You would notice that what the eSIM stands for primarily is portability. It is quite tiny and would easily fit in these smart-watches. And then it was used on a Google project which was a limited network of users. But the iPhone now is adopting the eSIM tech with both hands and showing it to the world for the first time.
What is eSIM?
The term “eSIM” simply means embedded SIM card or Embedded, electronic SIM. There are no physical SIM cards involved and no physical swapping over required by you. An eSIM or embedded SIM is installed on a device out-of-the-box. As small as the nail on my pinky (little finger) it is placed inside the phone like a chip while you switch networks remotely.
This means, you can’t physically take it out, it remains a part of the device just like the processor. And it is configured via a software from your mobile operator’s end. Functionality-wise, the eSIM is believed to be more efficient and less prone to mechanical failures.
You’ll either need to have a carrier’s app or a QR Code you can scan or another method to switch lines but the carrier will need to support eSIM.
Is eSIM Functionality Available In Nigeria?
The eSIM functionality is still rare although more countries would definitely adopt the system in the near future. Only 14 networks across 10 countries support this tech at the moment. Austria, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, India, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S. Even then carriers must offer compatibility too.
In the U.S we have AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Sprint coming soon and it’s still a very long way to go for the rest of the world.
Nigeria does not support eSIM yet.
How to use eSIM with iPhone XS and XS Max
To activate your second cellular on the eSIM, you’ll need to scan the QR code provided by your carrier.
- Go to Settings » Cellular.
- Tap Add Cellular Plan.
- Use your iPhone to scan the QR code that your carrier provided.
You may be asked to enter an activation code, enter the number your carrier has provide
Activate with a carrier app:
- Go to the App Store and download your carrier’s app.
- 2. Use the app to purchase a cellular plan.
You can add more than one eSIM on your device with different Label. However, you can only make use of it one at a time.
Lastly if you wish to change the existing label, simply go to plans in Settings » Cellular. Tap the number whose label you want to change. Then tap Cellular Plan Label and select a new label or enter a custom label.