Upgrading to Apple’s iPhone 14 isn’t as simple as swapping your SIM card

Upgrading to Apple’s iPhone 14 isn’t as simple as swapping your SIM card

This story is a part Focal Point iPhone 2022CNET’s collection of news, tips and advice on Apple’s most popular product.

Upgrade to iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max will require a new step for most customers: instead of moving your SIM card from your previous iPhone to the new one, you’ll likely need to set up an eSIM instead. When Apple announced iPhone 14 line at its September event, the company revealed that the US models will not have the physical SIM card tray commonly used in the phone industry. However, internationally, the iPhone 14 line will retain the SIM tray for now.

With eSIMs, you will still be able to take full advantage of the operator’s 4G LTE or 5G networks and use your phone in the same way as before. Apple supports eSIM on iPhones dating back to the 2018 iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, and has long supported the technology on its recent mobile iPads and Apple Watches. Last year’s iPhone 13 lineup multiple eSIMs are even allowed to be enabled at onceuseful for those who want to have a work and personal number on only one device.

By accepting eSIMs, Apple and other manufacturers may also begin to ditch the physical SIM card slot, allowing more room for additional features in future devices.

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Why Apple uses eSIM on the iPhone 14


AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon all support using an eSIM, as well as a number of smaller or prepaid providers such as Mint Mobile, Google Fi or Verizon-owned Visible.

While the basic experience shouldn’t change, there could be a few significant benefits to no longer having to get a physical SIM card from your carrier. If a network adds a new feature, the provider can just push the update directly to the phone, whereas in the past you might have had to order a new SIM card.

Upgrading from a 4G device to 5G, for example, required a new SIM card with some carriers to connect to the new networks. When you buy a phone from a carrier or on installments, you usually get a new SIM card in the box, so it’s not a big deal. However, if you bought unlocked directly from Apple, you may have needed to get a new SIM card.

The use of eSIMs could also make it easier for consumers to research or switch carriers. T-Mobile i Verizon is visible are using eSIMs as a way to give people the ability to try out their networks on their existing devices. Last week T-Mobile has updated its trial program to now give interested users three months of unlimited data to compare their 5G network against their existing provider.

If you want to switch, an eSIM could simplify the process and get you up and running much faster than waiting for a physical card to be sent in the mail or taking your phone into a store.

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