How to set up iPhone dual SIM cards

Anyone looking to add more than one number to their iPhone maybe to keep work and pleasure separate or just to have multiple numbers on one device. Will be pleased to know that this is made possible using Apple approved digital SIMs. This quick guide will take you through the process of using multiple SIMs on your iPhone and how to set up and iPhone with dual SIM cards. Taking you through how you can use multiple iPhone dual Sim cards with Apple iOS operating system and its range of phones.

Using two or more numbers on a single phone is useful if you would like to keep your personal calls separate from your business. Using eSIM a digital SIM platform allows you to add additional cellular or data plans without having to use a second physical SIM card. As physically adding dual Sim cards to the iPhone as impossible because Apple has only equipped the iPhone with a single SIM card slot since its launch.

iPhones that support eSIM (except models purchased in China)

iPhone SE (2nd generation and later)
iPhone XR
iPhone XS
iPhone XS Max
iPhone 11
iPhone 11 Pro
iPhone 11 Pro Max
iPhone 12 mini
iPhone 12
iPhone 12 Pro
iPhone 12 Pro Max
iPhone 13 mini
iPhone 13
iPhone 13 Pro
iPhone 13 Pro Max
iPhone 14
iPhone 14 Plus
iPhone 14 Pro
iPhone 14 Pro Max

Multiple SIM support is possible on iPhones using either Dual SIM with either two active eSIMs or a nano-SIM and an eSIM on the iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13, and iPhone 13 mini. Or you can use multiple SIMs with a nano-SIM and an eSIM with older Apple phones such as the iPhone 12, iPhone 11, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR.

setup iphone dual sim

Once setup, the ability to use multiple or dual SIM with your iPhone allows you to add a local data plan when traveling outside your home country, enabling you to save money on roaming charges. You can also use separate SIMs for voice and data plans, allowing you to benefit from cheaper data allowances when creating mobile hotspots. Allowing you to connect your laptop, tablet or family devices directly to your iPhone and save money on data usage.

If you would like to use 5G data connections with Dual SIM cards on older iPhone 12 models, you need Apple’s iOS 14.5 operating system or later versions installed. If you are using dual SIMs with iOS 13, your phone can use one cellular data network at a time. Although with iOS 13 and above, iPhone users can make and receive voice and FaceTime calls as well as send and receive messages using iMessage, SMS, and MMS from both.

To enable Dual Sim support on your iPhone, you will need an iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, or later with iOS 12.1 or later and be signed up with a cellular network carrier that supports eSIM technology. If you are unsure whether your network supports eSIM, a quick call to its support line or a search of its website should provide the information you need.

iPhone Dual SIM

It is also worth noting that if your iPhone is not unlocked, both your cellular network plans must be from the same provider. This becomes an issue if you are traveling to other countries where cellular providers may differ. If your iPhone is unlocked, then you can use two different carriers on the same handset. Apple also states that if a “CDMA carrier provides your first SIM, your second SIM won’t support CDMA”. For more clarification, it is best to discuss this with your network provider or if you are using a business iPhone, contact the administration team.

Setup eSIM

Apple allows you to store more than one eSIM on your iPhone, but you can only use one at a time. Requiring that you switch from one to the other. This is accomplished by going to your Settings app and selecting either Cellular or Mobile Data and selecting the plan you would like to use. To help with quick and easy switching between dual SIM iPhone plans, we recommend labeling your plans. To change the name of each individual plan, go to Settings > select either Cellular or Mobile Data and then tap the telephone number of the plan you would like to rename and select Cellular Plan Label to type in your desired reference.

iPhone Dual SIMs

Default SIM card

If you would like to set one SIM to take preference over the other when you call or send messages to a person not listed in your Contacts app. Apple allows you to choose which cellular plans you would like to use for FaceTime and iMessage. You can also enable Allow Cellular Data Switching, which allows you to use cellular data from both your SIM cards.

When managing dual SIM cards, your iPhone will automatically use the same number that you used last time to call a specific contact. If you haven’t yet called a person in your contacts list, your iPhone will use the default number you have set up as above. If you would prefer to choose which plan to use when contacting specific contacts on your iPhone, you can choose which SIM you would like to use:

1. Select the person from the Contacts app on your iPhone

2. Select the “Preferred Cellular Plan” option

3. Select the SIM number you would like to use for this contact

Digital SIMs

If you would like to manually select the SIM you use for a specific call, this can be accomplished by :

1. Select the contact or type in the phone number you’d like to call

2. Tap the phone number near the top of the screen

3. Select the SIM number or label you have set up to use that cellular network

If the contact is already in your iPhone Favorites address book

1. Select the person you would like to contact and press the Info button

2. Select the current phone number and tap your other SIM number

You can also use iPhone Dual SIMs to send and receive iMessage, SMS and MMS messages with either SIM and you can choose the number to use before or after you start a conversation. Simply open the messages app and :

1. Tap the new button in the top right-hand corner of your screen

2. Enter the name of the contact you would like to message

3. Select the current phone number and then tap the SIM number you would like to use. To switch SIM numbers during a conversation, tap the number you are using near the top of the screen and choose the alternative SIM number.

When using dual SIM on your iPhone, Apple makes it easy to see the status and signal strengths of your two carriers by entering the Control Center on your iPhone. If you need further assistance it might be worth contacting Apple directly via its engineers through the Genius Bar in Apple stores or using the Apple support website.

Filed Under: Apple iPhone, Guides, Top News

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