Apple is expanding the dual SIM function: The iPhone 13 brings support for dual eSIM, as the company announced. Apple appears to be the first major smartphone manufacturer to introduce this function. On the 2021 iPhones, it will be possible for the first time to operate two connections in parallel via eSIM profiles – without having to use a physical SIM card.
To make this possible, two eSIMs should be integrated into the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro for the first time, details on this have not yet been published. An eSIM supports several profiles, but only one of them can be active at a time.
Dual SIM iPhones since 2018
Since 2018, dual SIM on iPhones can only be used in combination with eSIM and nano SIM. This is still an option for the iPhone 13, so the slot for a removable physical SIM card remains. So far, Apple has only made it possible to use two physical SIM cards for dual SIM in models for the Chinese market, but not in Europe and the USA. In this country you can only insert a nano SIM.
iOS supports the technology “Dual SIM Dual Standby”: Both numbers are available for calls (as well as SMS) and can set up phone calls, the data connection changes automatically depending on network coverage.
eSIM for prepaid tariffs is still rare
With support for dual eSIM, users get more flexibility, as it makes it even easier to switch between several mobile network providers, optionally without having to get or swap a physical SIM card. This can be practical both when traveling and for users who switch between cellular networks when necessary to avoid dead spots.
The eSIM has only reached a limited extent in prepaid everyday life in Germany, although some discounters now offer it – but in some cases you first have to have a physical SIM card sent to you in order to be able to exchange it for an eSIM profile. Among the major network operators, only Telekom supports eSIM in prepaid tariffs.