The iPhone Xs launches on Friday – and the awesome eSIM feature won’t work in South Africa

The iPhone Xs and Xs Max will launch in South Africa on Friday, and there is bad news for buyers.

The new iPhones feature dual-SIM functionality, with support for a physical SIM card and the inclusion of an eSIM – an embedded SIM card which is built into the device.

Apple’s Dual-SIM Dual-Standby system – one physical nano-SIM and one eSIM – lets owners use cellphone numbers and mobile data services from two networks in the same iPhone.

The eSIM, however, needs to be enabled by a mobile network to function as a second SIM.

This requires the likes of Vodacom and MTN to support eSIM technology for your new iPhone’s dual-SIM capabilities to work.

No support yet

Rain, Vodacom, and MTN recently told MyBroadband they are working with Apple to support eSIM technology in South Africa.

The functionality will not be ready when the new iPhones launch locally, however. There is also no indication of when they expect eSIM support to be active.

Rain said it is unfortunately not ready to implement the eSIM platform as it needs time to engage with Apple and work on the required support.

MTN said it was still working with Apple to introduce the feature to its customers in the future.

Vodacom said it “will launch support for eSIM technology when the solution is ready to meet the high-quality standards that Vodacom customers expect”.

MyBroadband previously contacted Cell C and Telkom regarding eSIM support on their networks, but the companies did not reply to questions.

Now read: Best WhatsApp data bundles in South Africa

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The iPhone Xs launches on Friday – and the awesome eSIM feature won’t work in South Africa