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Does the Apple iPhone 15 have eSIM and dual-SIM capabilities?

Thinking of getting an iPhone 15? Read this post first!
By
September 13, 2023
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
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Apple iPhone 15 Pro
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Useful Action Button
USB-C support
Solid performance
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Lackluster long range zoom
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Apple iPhone 15 Plus
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Apple iPhone 15
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60Hz only

Are you thinking of getting an Apple iPhone 15 series smartphone? Considering the iPhone 14 got rid of the physical SIM card slot in the USA, it makes sense for you to first want to learn what the situation is like with the newer iPhones. Does the iPhone 15 have eSIM? What about dual-SIM support? Read on to learn more.

QUICK ANSWER

All versions of the iPhone 15 have eSIM as well as dual-SIM support. If you're looking for physical SIM support, you'll be sad to hear the iPhone 15 doesn't have a physical SIM card slot in the USA. Variants from other countries come with a Nano-SIM card slot, though. You can learn more about the different SIM variants in the first section of this article.

The iPhone 15 still comes with dual-SIM support, though, even in the USA. You will just be forced to use two eSIMs on eSIM-only versions of the iPhone.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

SIM options on the iPhone 15 series

iPhone 15iPhone 15 PlusiPhone 15 ProiPhone 15 Pro Max
USA
iPhone 15
Dual-eSIM
iPhone 15 Plus
Dual-eSIM
iPhone 15 Pro
Dual-eSIM
iPhone 15 Pro Max
Dual-eSIM
China
iPhone 15
Dual Physical SIM
iPhone 15 Plus
Dual Physical SIM
iPhone 15 Pro
Dual Physical SIM
iPhone 15 Pro Max
Dual Physical SIM
Rest of the world
iPhone 15
Single Physical SIM
Dual-eSIM
iPhone 15 Plus
Single Physical SIM
Dual-eSIM
iPhone 15 Pro
Single Physical SIM
Dual-eSIM
iPhone 15 Pro Max
Single Physical SIM
Dual-eSIM

What happened to the iPhone 15 physical SIM card?

Apple Event 2022 iphone 14 esim 2
Apple

Apple started a new, and pretty unpopular, tendency with the release of the iPhone 14 series. It got rid of physical SIM card support in the US. However, global versions of the iPhone 14 still had the Nano-SIM card slot.

Apple continues the tradition with the iPhone 15 devices, which include the Apple iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. None of these phones have a physical SIM card slot in the US. They rely solely on eSIM modules.

That said, global versions of the iPhone 15 series still have the physical SIM card slot. In fact, the Chinese version even supports physical dual SIMs!

To learn more about eSIM technology, check out our dedicated What is an eSIM post at the link.

Does the iPhone 15 have dual-SIM support?

Apple Event 2023 iPhone 15 Pro titanium colors
Apple

Talking about dual-SIM support, you’ll be glad to hear the iPhone 15 smartphones still support having two lines on a single device.

If you have a US version of the iPhone 15, you’ll need to use two eSIMs. Global versions of the device can use Nano-SIM + eSIM, or eSIM + eSIM. In the case of the Chinese version, this one can also use Nano-SIM + Nano-SIM.

We have a list of the best dual-SIM phones, if you want to check some other options.

Will the lack of a physical SIM affect you?

Apple Event 2023 iPhone 15 Pro sizes
Apple

Thankfully, eSIM-only issues only concern people in the USA, as only iPhone 15 devices in this country will have an eSIM-only configuration. Not to mention, most carriers in this country support eSIM technology.

On top of that, we can assume most Americans won’t see much of a difference in terms of day-to-day use. Users will enjoy their phones just the same after a bit of a wonky activation experience. Most people aren’t switching phones or adding and removing lines all the time.

However, we can see some people having an issue with this whole eSIM-only situation. It will be an inconvenience to travelers, as many countries might have little to no eSIM support, and a physical SIM card slot won’t be an option.

As for people outside the USA, your devices will have physical SIM card slots. This leads us to another option; You can import an iPhone 15 from another country. Of course, this may have some warranty implications, but it’s possible.


FAQs

Yes! You can transfer your eSIM profile from one iPhone to another. Apple calls this feature eSIM Quick Transfer. You can access it by going to Settings > Cellular > Add eSIM. You’ll also be prompted to transfer your eSIM during the setup process.

Transferring your eSIM between different platforms is still impossible. Apple’s Quick Transfer only works with Apple phones. You’ll need to activate your eSIM the normal way to transfer your profile from Android to iPhone.

You can store up to eight eSIM profiles on an iPhone 15. You can only use two simultaneously, though.

Steps to activate an eSIM are different, depending on your software version, specific device, and carrier procedures. Your carrier will be more than happy to help, especially if you got the phone from it. We can also guide you through the process in our dedicated guide for activating an eSIM on your iPhone.