If you’re trying to set up your Apple iPhone with eSIM for improved connectivity freedom but just don’t know how to get started, then follow along with me.
I know how much you enjoy the features of your Apple products, and it’s no surprise how many people wish to unleash the power of eSIM technology. Who wouldn’t want to share their favorite moments basking at a remote beach resort or Instagram all the exotic meals they’ve tasted on their trips?
One thing is sure, we want the choice to break free from expensive and outrageous data roaming charges.
I am always on the lookout for ways to save money while traveling, and staying connected is among my top areas of focus. The great news is that most Apple iPhones or iPads today feature Dual SIM technology, which allows you to install eSIM data plans in tandem with your primary mobile plan.
So, how can you make use of embedded SIM technology in your favorite Apple products? Let’s take a look at how this feature works.
eSIM capable Apple products and how to set them up
Before showing you how to setup an eSIM in your Apple products, I want to explain what having Dual SIM does for these products and go over a few ways to utilize the technology.
All Apple phones, including (iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, and iPhone 11 use Dual SIM with compatibility for both nano-SIM and eSIM.
Here are a few of the following ways to use Apple Dual SIM:
● Use separate voice and data plans
● Set up local data plan to travel outside of the country or carrier region
● Have one number for personal calls and another for business
The Dual SIM feature only lets you use one cellular data network at a time. However, with iOS 13, you can use both phone numbers to send or receive messages with iMessage, MMS, and SMS. You may also make and receive voice calls with both of your phone numbers.
Airalo locates and works with telcos around the globe to provide travelers with location-based eSIMs. If you want to use two separate data carriers, your phone must be unlocked, or you may use two plans from the same carrier.
Note: Some iPhones in other countries outside the United States are not compatible with eSIM.
List of Apple's eSIM capable devices:
● iPhone 11 / 11 Pro / 11 Pro Max / XS / XS Max
● iPhone XR
● iPad Air / Pro / Mini
1. eSIM with iPhone 11
The iPhone 11 features a nano-SIM, with a built-in eSIM. You can not use a micro-SIM card. To set up eSIM on iPhone 11, complete any of the following steps.
● Navigate to and open the “Settings” button on your home screen.
● Select “Cellular” and then tap on “Add Cellular Plan.” To purchase an eSIM, you can visit airalo.com
● From here, you may either scan the QR provided by your carrier or “Enter Details Manually,” depending on which plan you have.
● Tap on “Continue” and set up labels so you may identify the line.
● Select a default line to use for personal calls and messages which are not on your contact list and tap “Done” to finish.
2. eSIM with iPhone 11 Pro
The iPhone 11 Pro features a 5.8” diagonal-length screen and is compatible with a nano-SIM and eSIM. It doesn’t feature availability for any existing micro-SIM cards. Here are the steps to set up eSIM in iPhone 11 Pro.
● Get the QR code provided by your eSIM carrier and navigate to the “Settings” on your home screen.
● Tap on “Add a Cellular Plan” and scan the QR code that you received from your provider.
● If prompted, enter an activation code that was provided to you by your carrier.
● Label the line for easier identification and select your default line, which controls calls or messages that aren’t listed in your contacts.
3. eSIM with iPhone 11 Pro Max
The iPhone 11 Pro Max has a 6.5” diagonal-length screen and features compatibility for both nano-SIM and eSIM. You can not use micro-SIM cards. To set up Dual SIM with an eSIM chip, complete the following steps.
● Obtain a QR code from your mobile carrier or purchase one on the App Store.
● Select the “Settings” button on your home screen and top on “Add a Cellular Plan.”
● Scan your QR code once prompted and enter an activation code (you may not need to unless your carrier provided one for you.)
● After you complete the process, set up the labels for your lines so you may identify them later on.
● Choose the default line to select the plan which handles all messages and calls that are not listed inside your personal contacts.
4. eSIM with iPhone XS
The iPhone XS comes with a nano-SIM and a built-in eSIM. To install an eSIM plan on iPhone XS with the Dual SIM feature, complete any of the following steps, which depend on your carrier plan.
● To enter QR codes, open your Camera app and scan the QR code provided by your carrier. Tap on the “Cellular Plan Detected” notification after it appears. Click “Continue,” and then “Add Cellular Plan.” Enter a confirmation code provided by your carrier if you’re prompted to do so.
● If your carrier gives you a data plan to install, you should see a notification that says, “Carrier Cellular Plan Ready to Be Installed.” Tap it once and then again in the Settings app. Finish by selecting “Continue” at the bottom of your mobile screen. If your carrier did not provide one, you can visit the App Store and download the carrier’s app and purchase a plan.
● For manual installation, you may need to manually enter the plan information to your phone to activate it. First, go to settings and then tap “Cellular or Mobile Data.” Tap “Add Cellular Plan” and then tap “Enter Details Manually.”
● If switching SIMs, tap “Settings” and then tap “Cellular or Mobile Data.” Select the plan you wish to use and then tap on “Turn On This Line.”
5. eSIM with iPhone XS Max
The iPhone XS Max comes with Dual SIM support and is compatible with both built-in eSIM and nano-SIM cards. It does not support micro-SIM cards. To begin setting up eSIM in iPhone XS Max, finish the following steps.
● Scan the mobile-provided QR code with your mobile camera and select “Cellular Plan Detected.”
● Tap “Continue” and tap once again on “Add Cellular Plan.”
● If required, enter the activation code provided by your carrier or finish setting up the labels of each line.
● Select the default line, which handles all non-personal calls and messages.
6. eSIM with iPhone XR
The iPhone XR comes with a 6.1” diagonal-length screen and is compatible in Dual SIM (nano-SIM or eSIM.) You can not use micro-SIM cards with the iPhone XR. Set up eSIM with iPhone XR by completing the following steps.
● Make sure the iPhone XR is running iOS 12.1.1 or later and is unlocked; otherwise, both cards must be provided by your carrier.
● After you’ve purchased an eSIM plan, navigate to the “Settings” on your home screen.
● Here, you may either tap on “Add Cellular Plan” or scan the QR code provided by your mobile carrier.
● After you’re finished, enter the activation code (if applicable) and set up the labels for your data lines.
7. eSIM with iPad Air, Pro, or Mini
Assuming you set up a mobile plan with your carrier, your iPad should be activated. To set up an eSIM on iPad Air, Pro, or Mini, finish the following steps.
● Purchase an eSIM plan from any participating provider.
● If setting up your first plan, navigate to “Settings” on your home screen, and tap on “Cellular Data.”
● Next, tap “Set Up Cellular Data” and finish off by setting up line description labels.
● Choose “Add a New Plan” if you already have an existing line.
● After the line is established, add it to your existing plan or create a new plan.
Can I use the eSIM in an Apple Watch?
If you have an Apple Watch that includes cellular data and GPS functionality, you can activate eSIM and use it with your device. Use the following steps to activate eSIM technology on your Apple Watch.
● Open the Apple Watch app on any iPhone that’s connected to a carrier.
● Tap “My Watch” and tap once more on “Cellular.”
● Select “Add a New Plan” and complete all the steps until you’re finished.
● Choose the plan you want to use with your Apple Watch.
Apple Watches are Dual SIM compatible, so you can add multiple lines to your device. Just as with the iPhone, you may only use one line at a time.
Break free with the power of eSIM technology
How great is it that Apple integrates eSIM support for almost all of their devices?
Now you can travel anywhere you want when you want. Stay connected with family and friends while you travel the globe with your Apple device. You never have to worry about dropped calls while you’re away, and you won’t come home with horrendous data charges.
Want to learn more about setting up Apple eSIM when you travel? Try your first eSIM on Airalo today to begin unlocking the ultimate experience of global connectivity freedom.