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Dual-SIM support comes to iPhone XS, XS Max and XR, things you must know

Apple has introduced dual SIM card support for its 2018 iPhone lineup -- iPhone XR, XS and XS Max. But Apple has given a major twist to the regular dual-SIM card slot with e-SIM. The new iPhone XR, XS and XS Max comes with one regular nano-SIM card slot. To enable another SIM connectivity on the new iPhones, you will have to opt for an electronic SIM or eSIM from your telecom operator.

What is an eSIM? eSIM is a
virtual SIM ID that is generated by a telecom operator and that SIM ID is simply registered with the IMEI number of your phone/smartwatch. There is no need to purchase a separate physical SIM card for it. For the layman, you can simply think of eSIM like Apple is providing a blank SIM card inside the new iPhones and the telecom operator will simply 'write' SIM unique ID on it. Of course, eSIMs can be changed and 'rewritten'.

Apple had first introduced eSIM with the launch of the Apple Watch 3 Cellular in India in May. And with the new iPhones, it seems we are headed toward a SIM-less future. So, here are eight things to know about the eSIM connectivity in the new iPhones.

Apple has said that it will provide eSIM support via a software update later this year. So, initially, the new iPhone XR, XS and XS Max will not support dual SIM (via eSIM).

In India, only Reliance Jio (both prepaid and postpaid) and Airtel (postpaid) offer eSIM connectivity at present. So, if you wish to use two SIM cards with the new iPhones then you will have to use either Airtel postpaid or Reliance Jio (both prepaid and postpaid) on the second SIM.

If you already have an Airtel Postpaid or Reliance Jio connection, then you need not get a new number for just eSIM registration. You have the option to convert the regular SIM number into eSIM. For example, if you have Airtel postpaid and a Vodafone SIMs, you can convert the Airtel number into eSIM to use it as the secondary number on the new iPhones while inserting the physical SIM of Vodafone in the device. 

Reliance Jio and Airtel postpaid is offering the eSIM connectivity for free in India now. In the US, users have to pay around $10 extra every month just for having an eSIM. 

While it is free in India right now, in future telecom operators may charge an additional rent every month just for offering an eSIM. Also, there could be additional charge for eSIM during international roaming.

If you are frequently travelling outside your country then it's is highly recommended that you opt for an international roaming plan on the physical SIM card that you have. In many countries, eSIM is not supported. Also, several telecom operators doesn't allow you to roam on eSIM.

Getting a brand new iPhone from outside India sometimes saves a lot of money. However, be sure to check for the model number and verify with the Apple Store employee that whether the eSIM connectivity will be supported in India or not. 

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