The term "eSIM" stands for embedded SIM card. It is also known as an electronic SIM card. As one can guess from its name, eSIM will replace the physical, plastic SIM card that all existing smartphones presently use with a virtual embedded equivalent that cannot be detached.
It was the Apple Watch 3 that brought eSIM technology into the spotlight. You can find eSIM on the Pixel 2 smartphones as well. When it comes to eSIM on the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, the thought behind the eSIM is to facilitate the very first dual-SIM iPhone. Instead of adding an extra slot for an additional nano-SIM, iPhone has come up with this technology. It will allow you to subscribe to a network using your phone the way you do on cellular-enabled iPads with the Apple SIM. In eSIM, there is no physical SIM cards involved and requires no physical swapping over.
eSIM needs to be supported by the carrier or mobile network. It should be enabled by them. However, not all networks in India support eSIM. Keep in mind that, the SIM slots in the XR, XS, XS Max and Pixel phones also come with a physical SIM slot. The eSIM inside of these handsets is used for the second SIM support.
To describe an eSIM, it is basically a small chip inserted inside your phone. An eSIM works in the same way the NFC chip works, which is used for digital payment techs like Google Pay and Apple Pay.
The information on an eSIM is rewritable. It means, you can choose to change your operator with just a simple phone call. They are, in fact, easy to add to a data plan too. You can instantly connect devices with eSIMs to a mobile account. The association of mobile networks, GSMA, has defined the standard for eSIM globally and eSIM is backed by them.
Are eSIMs Available in India?
Telecom operators –Connectedyou offer eSIM support in India. Both of these operators have launched special cellular service to support the new network. Apple Inc. will also be partnering with these two mobile service providers for eSIM support on iPhones in India. One of the major advantages of e-SIMs is that you can activate them remotely by the supported mobile network service provider. For example, if you want to switch from connectedyou or vice versa, you will not be required to get a physical card and install inside the device.
All three iPhones - iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR in India come with a single physical nano-SIM slot and an eSIM. It will permit users to make use of more than one carrier off their mobile device. However, in India, eSIM will not be readily available through all operators. The current list of eSIM service providers only includes 14 operators, of which only 2 carriers are available in India. With the progress of technology and further advancement in mobile device, possibly in near future, almost all the carriers will be offering eSIM service.