What is eSIM. How does the new iPhone XS feature work?

The so-called eSIM , which was massively talked about after the launch of the new iPhone in September 2018, has been used for a number of years in smartphones and gadgets of other manufacturers.

It’s time to figure out what it is, what advantages it gives and whether it can be used in Russia.

What is eSIM?

eSIM is a built-in electronic SIM card. The symbol “e” means “embedded” (built-in, built-in).

The module is non-replaceable, but it can be programmed to work with different operators. You can configure several profiles, and then in a couple of clicks switch between them.

Devices with integrated eSIM module, for example, Apple Watch 3/4 , allow using one phone number. Devices with eSIM and physical slot for SIM cards ( iPhone XS / XR / XS Max ) can simultaneously work with a pair of SIM cards: physical and embedded eSIM.

One radio module in the smartphone imposes restrictions on the use. During a call from one SIM-card the second one will be unavailable, you can also use the connection to the mobile Internet one by one.

How eSIM differs from Apple SIM

Service Apple SIM was introduced in 2014 at the presentation of iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 . In Russia, he earned only at the end of 2015.

In fact, Apple SIM is a reusable SIM card , which is not tied to any operator. Through the device settings, you can switch between operators and tariffs without changing the physical SIM card.

A great idea for travelers and those who often travel to different countries and regions. We select the appropriate tariff and apply it directly in the settings.

The service already operates in more than 90 countries. Of course, it is not supported by all mobile operators.

Domestic operators are still bypassing the Apple SIM, and the international GigSky is working in our country . Prices for him – so-so:

Apple SIM was conceived as a solution for tablets with Internet tariffs. Initially, the cards were placed in the trays for SIM-cards, and later appeared models iPad with the built-in Apple SIM.


The Apple SIM module has become built-in. It is in this form that this technology has logically evolved into eSIM.

Now such cards are installed in Apple Watch with LTE support and new iPhone XS / XR / XS Max (our review here ). The module allows you to connect to the device a full rate with Internet and voice communication.

What are the advantages of eSIM

Smartphone developers with eSIM get used to greater freedom of action. The module itself is smaller than the traditional SIM-card module, it can be located anywhere on the smartphone.

In addition, with a complete failure of the SIM card slot in the case of the device will be one hole less. At the same time, dust and moisture protection will improve, production costs will decrease.

The user will also receive solid benefits: there is no need to replace the card, you can easily change operators and tariffs without visiting offices and retail outlets.

How are things with eSIM in Russia

Russian laws, alas, equate the use of eSIM to the copying of SIM-cards, which is a prohibited procedure.

Now the SIM-card in the Russian Federation is assigned to the user in the subscriber’s agreement. The feature of eSIM with the change of the operator at any time allows you to actually violate the terms of the contract – and not even notify the “opsoza” about it.

A similar situation is observed not only here. Currently, eSIM will only be used in Austria, Great Britain, Hungary, Germany, India, Spain, Canada, the USA, Croatia and the Czech Republic .

The legislation of these countries does not prohibit the use of eSIM. Even so, not all operators support it.

It turns out that the technology should be approved by the Russian authorities first. Then it should become profitable for our mobile operators, otherwise they do not move a finger to support it. And only then you can hope for the emergence of eSIM support in Russia.

Alas, but apparently, this year the situation does not change. So, you will not see the Apple Watch Series 4 in the steel case and with the LTE module on the Russian market.

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