While Apple might never launch “cheap” iPhones, or rather anything cheap (ain’t nobody messing with the quality, right?), the tech giant has recently launched a bundle of three new smartphones – with an unusual feature – dual SIM iPhones!

Hands on the three just-launched Apple iPhone models – XS, XS Max and XRiPhone models – XS, XS Max and XR on Wednesday, the unlikely feature introduced was that and all of them support dual SIM cards. This can be a happy-to-go moment for a lot of people because, but there’s a bit of catch in the new dual SIM feature. Apple will not actually provide the facility to insert two physical SIM cards in the iPhones; instead, there will be an option of “eSIM technology” which will be sort of like a virtual SIM card. The prefix e here stands for ’embedded subscriber identity module’, it is not a physical SIM card that you used to buy from an operator.

So to begin with, the SIM tray is given provision for SIM cards on a single tray unlike Android phones with two different slots. While both will support 4G connectivity and internet, one of the two SIM cards you’ll be integrating needs to support the eSIM standard. Which means, the operator can provide connectivity through it over the air and the SIM itself is soldered onto the iPhone’s motherboard in such a way that it cannot be removed. So unlike Android smartphones, calling on both the cards will not work at the same time. If you are on a call through any one, the other activates the voicemails and also, the data connection of one card gets deactivated if you are on voice call through the other one.

The eSIM technology is already approved by the department of telecommunications, but only Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd and Bharti Airtel Ltd provide eSIM services in India – which means, customers of other providers will have to take a second connection from either Airtel or Jio. While the dual SIM mechanism of iPhones might sound tricky at the moment, it is easily adaptable to and countries like China, Hong Kong and Macau are already using this system for existing smartphones – including Android ones.

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