Apple’s new iPhones – the iPhone XS Max, XS, and XR – all support dual-SIM feature. It’s the first time Apple has acknowledged the need for two SIM cards and fans who prefer to keep personal and professional numbers separate won’t have to carry two phones in their pocket.
However, the dual SIM supported iPhones are available in only ten countries that include Austria, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, India, Spain, the UK, and the US. Out of these, China is the only country where the iPhone XS Max (review), XS and XR models come with physical dedicated dual SIM slots. All other markets get an eSIM.
What is an eSIM?
The “eSIM” stands for embedded SIM card. Before bringing eSIM card to its iPhones, Apple had already implemented the tech in its watches. The new iPhones comes with nanoSIM + eSIM support. eSIM requires support from service providers and in India, currently only Airtel and Reliance Jio support eSIM.
And if you are associated with one of the above TSPs, this is how you can avail dual-SIM support on your iPhones.
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How To Activate Dual-SIM Functionality (eSIM) on iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR (Globally)
The first and foremost requirement to activate dual SIMs on new iPhones is iOS 12.1 update. Make sure your phone is updated to iOS 12.1.
To check your iOS version, go to Settings->General->About->Version. If you are running on a version prior to iOS 12.1 kindly update your iPhone. To do so, go to Settings->General>Software Update. Once your phone is updated to iOS 12.1, there are two ways to activate eSIM on your iPhone:
How to set up eSIM on Reliance Jio on iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR
New or existing Jio users require to pay a short visit to offline Reliance Jio store or center in order to activate an eSIM. Existing Jio users will have to carry their present physical Jio SIM card with them. Jio representative will ask them to fill a CAF (Customer Acquisition Form). The details provided by you will be later punched in into a POS (Point Of Sale) machine and the Jio representative will select SIM swap option to generate a barcode. Once you get the barcode, follow the following setups:
1. Go to Settings-> Cellular.
2. Tap Add Cellular Plan.
3. Use your iPhone to scan the barcode code that your Jio provided and Voila! your Jio eSIM is active now.
How to set up Airtel eSIM on iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR
In the case of Airtel, the procedure is slightly different. If you are an Airtel customer and wish to convert your physical SIM to eSIM follow these following steps:
- Airtel users first have to send an SMS in the format ‘eSIM<SPACE>email’ to 121. After this SMS you should get a confirmation SMS followed by a call in acknowledgment of your request.
- Soon, you will receive an email from Aitel that will include a QR code.
- Now, all you need to do is scan this emailed QR code from your iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. To do that, go to
- This QR code needs to be scanned using the iPhone on which you want to set up the digital SIM. To scan the QR code, open the Settings app and select on Mobile Data option. Now, tap on Data Plan option and scan the QR code (note that, the code can be scanned only once). If you followed the above steps correctly, you must be prompted to add the Airtel data plan on the eSIM. As soon as you Add Data Plan from what has been displayed at the bottom half of the screen your eSIM setup is complete.
- Now, all you have to do is wait till your account get activated with new eSIM.
Do the new iPhones support Dual VoLTE after iOS 12.1 update?
Nope, Apple has said that the Dual VoLTE support will be pushed via another software update. As of now, it is only Dual SIM Dual Standby (DSDS) ready.
Activate eSIM after iOS 12.1 on iPhone XS, XS Max and XR
Following the aforementioned methods, you can now use dual sim dual standby feature on your iPhone. Interestingly, using the eSIM feature you can store multiple cellular Plans on your phone. This is especially beneficial for globetrotter.
To switch between eSIMs all you have to do is tap Settings-> Cellular-> Cellular Plans and select the eSIM you would like to use. Next, select ‘Turn On This Line’ feature.