iPhone 15 eSIM: What you need to know

Like the iPhone 14 before it, in the United States, the iPhone 15 will not ship with a physical SIM card slot. Instead, Apple has moved entirely to eSIM technology.

While some iPhone users may have already made the transition to eSIM, such as with the iPhone 14 last year, there are many users who haven’t. Ahead of iPhone 15 orders arriving on Friday, here are some details on eSIM support from Apple.

What does eSIM mean for iPhone 15?

The iPhone lineup has supported eSIM technology for years. The iPhone XS was the first model to add the technology, and every new iPhone since then has supported eSIM. Each of those iPhone models also offered a nano SIM card slot. So if you don’t want to use an eSIM, you don’t have to.

eSIMs, sometimes referred to as embedded SIMs, are still SIM cards, but they are electronically programmable. This means there is no physical SIM card that needs to be inserted or activated in your iPhone. Instead, you log in with your carrier information and the carrier will remotely provision your iPhone so it can connect to their network.

Once this process is complete, your iPhone works just like a physical SIM card. It’s also important to note that the only iPhone 15 models sold in the United States will be eSIM only. Models sold in other countries will have a nano-SIM card slot.

iPhone 14 eSIM event

Each iPhone 15 model can store at least eight different eSIMs, and in some cases even more. Two can be in use at the same time.

Option 1: Set up iPhone 15 ‘eSIM Quick Transfer’

In a support document, Apple explains that you’ll be able to convert your physical SIM to an eSIM during the iPhone 15 setup process. This can be done even if you have never used an eSIM before.

During the setup process, you’ll be asked to transfer your SIM from your old iPhone to your new iPhone. You’ll use this procedure if you’re transferring an existing eSIM from your old iPhone to your new iPhone 15.

  1. Select a cellular plan to transfer from another device. If you don’t see a list of numbers, tap Transfer from another device.
  2. Check the instructions on your previous iPhone to confirm the transfer. To confirm, tap Transfer or, if asked for a verification code, enter the code displayed on your new iPhone.
  3. Wait for the cellular plan to activate on your new iPhone. Your previous SIM is deactivated when the cellular plan on your new iPhone is activated.
  4. If you see a banner that says Complete Set Up Your Carrier’s Cellular Plan on your new iPhone, tap it. You will be redirected to your carrier’s webpage to transfer your eSIM. If you need help, contact your carrier.

Option 2: Use a QR code from your carrier

Some carriers do not support what Apple refers to as “eSIM Quick Transfer”. If so, you’ll need to scan a QR code from your carrier to activate the eSIM in your iPhone 15. When you reach the “Set Up Cellular” screen in the iPhone 15 setup process, there will be an option to Use QR Code.

This will walk you through the process of scanning the QR code provided by your carrier to activate your iPhone 15’s eSIM. The process of getting that QR code may vary by carrier.

Option 3: Convert physical SIM to eSIM with your current iPhone

If you want to start the transition to eSIM, you can convert the physical SIM in your current iPhone to an eSIM. From there, you’ll be able to transfer that eSIM to your new iPhone 15 once it arrives.

  1. On your iPhone, go to Settings > Cellular.
  2. Tap Convert to eSIM. If you don’t see this option, you’ll need to contact your carrier.
  3. Tap on Convert Cellular Plan.
  4. Select Convert to eSIM.
  5. Wait for your eSIM to be activated. Once this is done, your previous SIM card will be deactivated.
  6. Remove the physical SIM and reboot your iPhone.

If you already have an iPhone 14

And if you already own an iPhone 14, your transition to the iPhone 15 will be seamless. During the setup process you will be asked to move your eSIM from your iPhone 14 to your iPhone 15. It only takes a few minutes and then you’re ready to go.

Take 9to5Mac

for the the most Folks, the iPhone 15 eSIM transition should result in a physical SIM-like experience, if not better.

For iPhone 14 buyers last year, there was a transition to eSIM relatively Painless certainly had some hiccups and some carriers were more affected than others. With the release of the iPhone 15 this year, we hope those problems are further removed.

But even if there are some speed bumps in the transition to eSIM, the result will be more convenient for (most) users. For example, that should Simplify the process of changing carriers. This means one less physical port on your iPhone. When setting up a new iPhone, you don’t have to worry about losing or damaging your SIM card.

In terms of international travel, the fact that the iPhone 15 can store multiple eSIMs should make this process easier. The key, however, will be to use a carrier that supports eSIM. This could cause problems for travelers using the iPhone 15 in the United States where eSIM technology is not as widespread.

What do you think about the continued transition to eSIM with the iPhone 15? Is this the first time you’ve made the jump or did you do it last year with the iPhone 14? Let us know in the comments.

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