Apple introduces iPhones with dual SIM trays only in China
Dual SIM function available in iPhones elsewhere using eSIM
We know Apple has long given China special treatment. Now it’s giving China a special version of the iPhone that the rest of the world won’t get.
Dual SIM support -- which lets a phone use two phone numbers and carrier plans at the same time -- will be coming to the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR. While rumors suggested it would be limited to countries where multiple SIM use is more common, it appears the function will in fact be available worldwide -- as long as your carrier supports it. (Apple listed Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T among several other telecom companies.)
But here’s the thing: While everyone else gets dual SIM capability via a single physical nano SIM combined with a digital eSIM, China gets something unique. Instead of an eSIM, the iPhone XR and XS Max in China will have a special SIM tray that holds two physical nano SIM cards. (There does not appear to be an iPhone XS that can hold two nano SIM cards.)
As for those of you living outside China, Apple says the dual SIM function won’t work immediately. It’ll be enabled through an eSIM software update later this fall.
While it’s rare for Apple to create models specifically tailored to one country, it’s not unheard of. Different iPhones support different wireless bands depending on what carriers in each country use. And the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus in Japan supported Suica, the NFC cards used on trains in the country.