Hello eSIM: Apple moves the iPhone away from physical SIMs

A man looks cosmically insignificant onstage next to a giant projection of a smartpphone.

(credit: Valentina Palladino)

Throw away your ejector pins and paper clips, iPhone users.

On Wednesday, Apple announced that its new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max will use an eSIM—a purely electronic SIM that allows users to maintain a secondary phone line in a single device. That line could be a secondary domestic line (say you’re a journalist and don't want to have separate personal and work iPhones) or could have an American and Canadian number (if you travel across the border frequently).

These handsets will have a new "dual SIM dual standby" option, one of which will be a nano SIM. In other words, they will have two distinct phone numbers. (Chinese models will have two SIM slots instead of the eSIM option.)

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