What is an eSim?? Things you Should know before buying the new Iphone

Apple has recently launched its new phones Iphone Xs, Iphone Xs Max and Iphone Xr and with these phones, the iphone lovers have been finally given a freedom to use two cellular networks in phone at a time. Yes, the new iphone models now support dual sim.

But the catch over here is that the phones would only support one physical sim and one eSim.

As not many manufacturers have used this technology in the main stream phones, the concept is still new to the users, and they are slightly confused about its functionality and limitations.

What exactly is an eSim?

eSim is an Electronic Sim card which is installed inside the phone and cannot be removed. The size of the sim embedded inside the phone is much smaller than the regular sim cards thereby saving the space.

E-Sim size compared to physical sim
eSim Size

How Does an eSim Work?

An eSim is very similar to a regular physical Sim, an integrated circuit that stores information of the network and user to communicate.  The physical sims provided are pre activated with carrier information and number, where as the eSim requires activation by the carrier to enter the information.

Activating the eSim is a very simple process. It can be done either by Scanning a QR Code provided by the Service Provider (carrier) or through the carrier’s App.

With this process, the mobile number along with the carrier information like security authentication and ciphering information etc is stored on the eSim and the unique identification number of eSim will be registered by the carrier.

Once activated, calls and messages can be received on both the numbers. Data can be activated from only one of the sim at a time and when one number is busy with call, the calls received on the other number will go to voice mail.

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How to switch carriers with eSim?

If the eSim cannot be removed, how to switch the carriers if we want to?

The process is very similar to the first activation. The existing connection needs to be deactivated through the carrier’s customer service and once its processed, activate the eSim with the new carrier via QR Code or App.

Do note that if the phone is locked to a carrier, both the sims (Physical and esim) should be of same network.

Supported Carriers?

As much as the eSim concept seems simple, it is not yet supported by all carriers around the world. Only limited carriers have announced their support for eSim. Before making the purchase, check if your carrier supports eSim.

Supported Carriers
Carriers that Support eSim

What’s good about eSim?

  • No need to physically remove simcard tray while switching to a new carrier.
  • No need to go to store to get a sim. Can be easily activated over app.
  • No chances of sim damage due to improper placement.
  • No sim card size issues.
  • Manufacturers can use the space saved for SD card slot.
  • Can be easily embedded in smaller devices like Smart watch or fitness bands for more features with internet.
  • More secure if stolen, as the eSim identification number cannot be changed and can be tracked.

What’s bad about eSim?

  • Limited Carrier Support at present.
  • Switching sims between phones will be troublesome, as it would require you to activate your connection to the other phone every time.
  • Replacement of eSim in case of any defect would be a costly affair after warranty period.


Though eSim at present comes with few limitations, it is definitely¬† a good news for Iphone users as they can finally have the freedom to use two carriers at a time according to their requirement. With Apple introducing the eSim concept in full fledged fashion, it won’t be a surprise if other manufacturers would also follow the same. Just like the legendary notch.

Share your thought about the eSim and whether it is to be implemented by all phones too?

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