iOS 16 Lets You Transfer an eSIM Between iPhones via Bluetooth

iOS 16 introduces a useful new feature that allows an eSIM to be transferred between iPhones via Bluetooth while setting up cellular service.

eSIM Transfer Bluetooth iOS 16 Feature
In the Settings app on an iPhone running iOS 16, tapping on "Set up eSIM" brings up an option to transfer an eSIM and its associated phone number from another iPhone via Bluetooth. To transfer an eSIM from another iPhone, Apple says to make sure the other iPhone is nearby, unlocked, has Bluetooth turned on, and is running iOS 16 or later.

The feature appears to be available in multiple countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, but it is only possible to complete Bluetooth transfers of eSIMs issued by carriers that support the feature. Given that iOS 16 was only announced a few days ago and is currently in beta, carrier support may be limited right now.

Apple also continues to provide the more traditional option of setting up an eSIM by scanning a QR code provided by a carrier.

An eSIM is a digital SIM that allows you to activate a cellular plan from a carrier without having to use a physical nano-SIM card. A single eSIM is available on the iPhone XS and newer, while all four iPhone 13 models support dual eSIMs.

The first beta of iOS 16 was seeded to developers earlier this week, and a public beta will be available in July. Apple said iOS 16 will be released in the fall, at which point this new eSIM transfer feature will be available to all users.

(Thanks, Carson!)

Related Roundups: iOS 16, iPadOS 16
Tag: eSIM

Top Rated Comments

Marswarrior462 Avatar
9 weeks ago

But why would you get the cellular iPad Pro? iPad can seamlessly share the data from your iPhone. The connection is automatic and done in background if they are using the same Apple ID.
Even with the battery life of my iPhone 13 Pro Max, tethering will nuke my battery. I only bought the Wi-Fi version of my last iPad because of the COVID lockdowns. The worst of COVID is now over and I plan to travel more
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sir_Macs_A_Lot Avatar
9 weeks ago
I'm good with anything that keeps me from having to go into my carrier's store and wasting time dealing w/ their unqualified staff of boneheads.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
noonas_the_mac_head Avatar
9 weeks ago
Finally - this was a big issue for me when my phone broke..
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
contacos Avatar
9 weeks ago
sounds good. I remember switching iPhones. It was such a pain! I had to go to 3 different stores and eventually a technician could finally help me out 4 days later to get another eSim working on the new iPhone
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple_Robert Avatar
9 weeks ago
Glad to know if I ever need this feature it is available. iOS 16 keeps getting better every day I check MR.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
h3ysw5nkan Avatar
9 weeks ago

Looks like I’ll need to open up a separate line for my next iPad. Paying extra for cellular service on top of a multi-thousand dollar upgrade. Ouch!
But why would you get the cellular iPad Pro? iPad can seamlessly share the data from your iPhone. The connection is automatic and done in background if they are using the same Apple ID.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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