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Apple introduced eSIM support in 2018 with the launch of the Apple Watch 3 LTE. Later, eSIM support was extended to iPhones as well. Users were given the option of using one normal SIM card and another eSIM to get the convenience of a dual SIM smartphone.
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Jio, Airtel and Vodafone Idea already offer eSIM service for iPhones. Although India is not new to eSIM service, most smartphone users are not aware of using eSIMs.
In fact, not all iPhone users in India activate eSIM. Now, with Apple offering an eSIM-only model for the iPhone 14 series in the US, the usage opportunities for eSIM in India are not much.
What is ESIM?
An eSIM is a virtual SIM card embedded in a device. It is simply activated without any SIM cards in the supported device.
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The concept of eSIM is similar to the internal memory of your smartphone. You cannot remove internet memory or expand it, but you can certainly store data in it. Similarly, for eSIM, the subscriber identity module or SIM card data is digitally activated or transferred by operators such as Jio, Airtel or VI.
An eSIM has nothing to do with providing better internet speeds or better cellular services. It is just a digital copy of your SIM card. Also, same mobile number cannot have both eSIM and physical SIM. After eSIM activation, your SIM card will not work.
With eSIMs, it is not possible to transfer them instantly from one phone to another like traditional SIMs. This means that if you want to change an eSIM, you need to contact your telecom operator. You cannot transfer or share an eSIM with another phone. But you can certainly share the same eSIM with a smartphone and a connected smartwatch. For example, you can enable eSIMs on your iPhone and Apple Watch LTE models with the same phone number.
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What are the disadvantages of ESIM?
With eSIM, you lose physical control of your SIM card. If your phone gets damaged or the display stops working, we take out the SIM card and put it in another phone and use it now. But that is not possible in ISIM. A major operation is to change the SIM to another phone.
If you’re traveling across the country without a SIM card slot, you won’t be able to switch to a local SIM card immediately upon arrival abroad. For minor SIM card related matters, you should contact your telecom operator’s customer support.
The main advantage is that if your phone is stolen, no one else can insert the SIM card and own your device.