SIM cards eliminate the need to poke a pin through your SIM tray to swap out a physical tiny piece of plastic. Instead, eSIMs, which stands for embedded SIM cards, only need a compatible network or carrier to offer support.
According to Apple’s website, eSIM functionality will not be available when the new iPhones launch; instead company planning to introduce it later this year through an iOS 12 software update.
There are only ten countries offer eSIM support right now: Austria, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, India, Spain, the UK, and the US.
Sprint and smaller carriers in the US don’t offer eSIM support, meaning that customers will need to switch over to T-Mobile, Verizon, or AT&T in order to enjoy that feature.
In China, Apple’s special dual SIM trays will bypass the need for eSIM compatibility, which China has very little of anyway. Both major carriers, China Telecom and China Mobile, have introduced eSIM support in a couple of cities, excluding Beijing. Instead, the new iPhones will have two physical SIM cards, like many Android phones do in China already.