One of the key new features of the iPhone Xs and iPhone XR is support for dual-SIM functionality. This feature will allow users to connect to two networks simultaneously on their new iPhone and receive calls on either number.
Apple’s implementation is slightly different from other Android OEMs though. The iPhone Xs and iPhone XR continue to feature a single SIM slot, with the phones connecting to the second network using eSIM technology. Apple first debuted the eSIM technology with its iPad lineup before expanding it to the Apple Watch last year. Users will have to manually register on the network the first time around from their phone.
While Apple highlighted the eSIM feature on iPhone Xs and iPhone XR, it failed to mention that the technology won’t be ready at launch for the new iPhone. Instead, the company plans to activate it with a future software update and fails to mention any specific timeline as to when. It’s likely that Apple will do so with the iOS 12.1 update before the holiday season starts.
Another important thing to note about eSIM technology is that it needs to be supported by your network operator. Right now, only a handful of operators across the world support eSIM technology. So before you get all excited about buying the iPhone Xs or iPhone Xr for its dual-SIM capabilities, it’s important you confirm that your operator supports eSIM technology. Apple also notes on its website that certain carriers might completely disable eSIM functionality on their iPhone units.
Apple is only selling a proper dual-SIM variant of the iPhone Xs with dual-SIM slots in China. This is because eSIM technology has been nixed in the country due to government concerns.
During the keynote, Apple also highlighted that iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max come with faster wireless charging. However, there’s no mention of how fast these phones now charge wirelessly. It is possible that the improvement is extremely modest in nature which is why Apple has not mentioned it anywhere on its website.