The Apple iPhone XS, XS Max and XR are the first smartphones from Apple to sport dual-SIM connectivity, but the implementation is different from what we’re used to seeing on most devices. The new iPhones use a physical primary SIM slot, along with an eSIM, which is built into the phone and can be activated electronically by the mobile operator. This way, you can have two numbers working simultaneously on your new iPhone.
In India, Airtel and Reliance Jio are slated to support eSIM activation. The feature was enabled on the new iPhones with the iOS 12.1 update, and users now have to wait for their operators to roll out support. While Airtel started eSIM activations a few days ago (before pausing it for unknown reasons), Reliance Jio has now started doing the same. Jio users with the new iPhone XS, XS Max or XR can approach Jio stores or Reliance Digital outlets in metro cities to complete the activation, according to FoneArena.
Existing Jio users will have to convert the nano-SIM to an eSIM in order to activate it on the iPhone. This is done through a point-of-sale machine which will need details including the IMEI of the iPhone and other details. A QR code is generated, which can then be scanned on the iPhone to complete the activation. The process is said to be quick, but the actual eSIM activation will take a few hours to be done.
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A lot of users in India tend to have a second Jio connection, thanks to the ease of use and low pricing. Buyers of the new iPhones will thus be able to use Jio connections without needing a second handset anymore. The process of using two SIMs on a single device is admittedly less complicated on most other phones, with a large number of Android options in India coming with physical dual-SIM connectivity – two physical slots for SIM cards.
This allows quickly swapping SIMs between devices without needing to visit the operator every time. However, eSIM connectivity seems to be the way forward in western markets, as even the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are said to sport eSIM connectivity.