Apple Promotes Benefits of Using iPhone 14 With eSIM While Traveling Abroad

Amid criticism from some customers regarding the removal of the SIM card tray on all iPhone 14 models sold in the United States, Apple today published a new support document outlining various "options and benefits" for using eSIMs while traveling abroad.

iphone 14 iphone 14 plus in hand
Apple says an eSIM is more secure than a physical SIM since it cannot be removed from an iPhone that is lost or stolen. Apple also says that eSIMs eliminate the need to obtain, carry, and swap physical SIM cards, or wait for them to arrive by mail.

The support document notes that the iPhone XS and newer can store eight or more eSIMs, while the iPhone 13 and newer can have two eSIMs active at the same time.

"This could, for example, include one eSIM for your home and another eSIM for the place you're visiting," the support document explains. "You can swap which of your stored eSIMs are active simply by changing your selections in Settings."

The support document includes information for customers looking to roam internationally with their existing carrier, purchase an eSIM from a local carrier while traveling abroad, or purchase a prepaid data eSIM from a worldwide service provider.

Apple says customers can activate an unlocked iPhone 14 model purchased in the United States with over 400 carriers that support eSIM on the iPhone in 100 markets around the world. Apple adds that many worldwide service providers also offer prepaid eSIM data plans for long-term use in countries around the world.

Some people have expressed concerns about eSIM availability while traveling abroad with eSIM-only iPhone 14 models from the United States.

In his iPhone 14 Pro camera review, travel photographer Austin Mann said he was "a bit concerned about the practicality of an eSIM-only approach for travelers with US iPhones who frequently visit the developing world," adding that he usually purchases a local SIM card in countries where he travels to so that it is easier and cheaper to communicate with people within the country. Mann said he would be thrilled to toss out his collection of physical SIM cards, but said he has been unable to figure out how to sign up for an eSIM line in East Africa, where he plans to travel to next summer.

The support document is unlikely to assuage disappointed customers, but it does serve as a helpful resource for using eSIM technology.

Related Roundup: iPhone 14
Tag: eSIM
Related Forum: iPhone

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Top Rated Comments

fwmireault Avatar
24 months ago
We all know the benefits to eSIM, the issue is not there. The issue is that many carriers outside (and even inside) the US still doesn't support it to this day.
Score: 60 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yg17 Avatar
24 months ago
The question isn't whether or not carriers abroad support eSIM, the question is, can I, a visitor to the country who doesn't have a local address, local bank account, local government ID, and who may not speak a word of the local language, get a plan with an eSIM before I walk out of the airport?

It's usually easy enough to buy a physical SIM card when you arrive, some countries have vending machines for them in the airport.

I'm going to Turkey next year. According to Apple, there are 3 carriers there that support eSIM. Fantastic. How do I get one? The carrier's sites are in Turkish. I stumbled through one of them with Google Translate. I think I need to already have a Turkish number to sign up. I'd most certainly need a Turkish address, possibly a Turkish bank account to pay for it.

Hell, I went to see what the options are for the UK, to at least remove the language barrier. Seems like none of them support eSIM for PAYG. I guess as a visitor, I'm not getting an eSIM.

And yes, I know about Airalo and the like. They're convenient, but expensive compared to local plans. They also don't support voice calling if that's something you need. Airalo is probably fine for most people for short term travel, but if you're spending a lot of time abroad, it's not going to cut it.
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yg17 Avatar
24 months ago

You laid it out perfectly! That's exactly the issues I had in Greece. It was a waste of time and it was a nightmare!
Yep.

The people at Apple who made the decision to remove the SIM slot are making 7 figures. When they travel, they just pay their carrier for an outrageously priced data roaming plan. They don’t think about it. They’ve never had to travel on a budget.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ONJ Avatar
24 months ago
I'm just astonished at how much Apple has become so arrogant. Serioulsy, has anyone here in the past few months tried to activate an eSim with any carrier in the US? Well, I have tried many times with Verizon and T-Mobile and I have to say it's a nightmare!! Yes, surely they may have fixed and trained the carriers here in the US to activate eSims, but, can you imagine going to somewhere like Greece (Trust me, I was there and tried with Cosmote - impossible), Ghana, Guatemala etc where there is perhaps no such thing as an eSim or, you simply can't speak the language to activate an eSim at the local corner store?
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
typecase Avatar
24 months ago
Even here in the US its a solid pain not to have a physical sim card not to mention the inconvenience when travelling abroad. Before I could just swap my sim when I got a new phbone and even my carrier would not be any the wiser. Now if I swap to an esim from my regular sim, it seems they will charge me a $35 upgrade fee. A fee for complete BS just for using my phone. Kind of like Comcast's HD technology fee of $9 every month. Thanks Apple.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
azentropy Avatar
24 months ago

We all know the benefits to eSIM, the issue is not there. The issue is that many carriers outside the US still doesn't support it today.
Many carriers inside the US don't support it either (or don't support it on certain plans).
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)