In various TV shows and movies, oftentimes criminals are seen swapping out SIM cards on burner phones to keep themselves and their activities under the radar. Kevin Mitnick, a famous hacker and the author of The Art of Invisibility, mentioned such activity may be a dozen times in his career. Third-party apps are also commonly available for anyone to text/call/surf with a different mobile identity other than the primary line installed.
With iPhone XS and above, the hassle of swapping SIM cards or switching to third-party apps is finally over (unless you do have something to hide.)
The setup varies based on your location and hardware. The links below provide further information on the setup.
- Using Dual SIM with an eSIM (anywhere but China, or Hong Kong/Macau with iPhone XS)
- Using Dual SIM with two nano-SIM cards (China, or Hong Kong/Macau with iPhone XS)
Those in my hometown with unlocked phones are so fortunate as they can use two different nano-SIM cards either from a single or two different mobile service providers for high availability.
Being in the United States of America, here are the steps I took recently to set up a dual SIM on my iPhone XS. More precisely, these steps demo how to activate an eSIM after a nano SIM is already installed on the device.
To start, contact your mobile service provider and it shall provide you with a QR code.
Go to Settings -> Cellular and press on Add Cellular Plan.
Scan the QR code from the email sent by your service provider. Then press Add Cellular Plan again. Zero-touch enrollment is definitely absent here.
You may adjust the options in the following prompts as you see fit, or just accept the defaults to continue.
After some time, the eSIM will be activated.
Confirm the mobile number and ensure that it is turned on.
You will notice the signal strength symbol shown on the upper right-hand corner looks slightly different. Pressing on it will reveal the carrier(s) and signal strength of each line.
As always, stay mobile!