iPhone 13 is the first iPhone to feature support for Dual eSIM

Iphone 13 Pro Colors
Iphone 13 Pro Colors (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • The iPhone 13 models feature support for Dual eSIM.
  • The iPhone 12 and earlier models only support a single eSIM.

Earlier today, Apple streamed its anticipated "California Streaming" event. During the virtual event, the company announced the iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7, redesigned iPad mini, and 9th generation iPad.

While it is easy to focus on the main feature upgrades of the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro - its camera upgrades, the ProMotion display, and the increased battery life - there is another feature that flew under the radar.

The iPhone 13 lineup is the first iPhone model to support dual eSIM. While previous iPhones allowed you to use eSIM for one carrier and a physical SIM for the other, you'd now be able to use eSIM for both. Below are the new SIM options according to the iPhone 13 technical specifications page:

  • Dual SIM (nano‑SIM and eSIM)
  • Dual eSIM support
  • iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini are not compatible with existing micro-SIM cards.

Apple does warn that support is dependent on carriers. eSIM is still being adopted, so you'll need to check with your carriers to ensure that you can use the feature.

Use of eSIM requires a wireless service plan (which may include restrictions on switching service providers and roaming, even after contract expiration). Not all carriers support eSIM. Use of eSIM in iPhone may be disabled when purchased from some carriers.

Apple also expanded the number of 5G bands in the iPhone 13 so you'll be able to enjoy faster cellular speeds on both of the carriers you are connected to.

The world is quickly moving to 5G, and iPhone offers an advanced 5G experience, transforming the way users connect, share, and enjoy content. The customized hardware design in the iPhone 13 lineup features more 5G bands, allowing it to work in more places on 5G for greater coverage and performance.6 By the end of 2021, support for 5G on iPhone will double around the globe, with over 200 carriers worldwide in 60 countries and regions. Users can experience higher-quality video streaming on their favorite platforms, more competitive gameplay in multiplayer games, faster download and upload speeds, and so much more. With iOS 15, SharePlay7 on 5G will unlock powerful shared experiences such as watching HDR movies or TV shows in sync with friends while on a FaceTime call. And Smart Data mode will intelligently conserve battery life by automatically shifting iPhone to LTE when 5G speeds aren't needed.

Preorders for the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 pro go live on Friday, September 17. The new iPhone models will officially go on sale on Friday, September 24.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.