Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile Won’t Support eSIM Until Later This Year

Apple today released iOS 12.1 with support for the digital eSIM that will allow for dual-SIM functionality on the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, but eSIM support isn’t going to be immediately available from U.S. carriers.

AT&T, for example, is telling customers that eSIM activations are being delayed until later in the year due to technical issues in part related to Visual Voicemail.



According to one AT&T store manager who spoke to MacRumors, retail outlets have been told that AT&T is not supporting dual-SIM or eSIM at the current time, with stores advised not to sell eSIM cards to customers.

Verizon and T-Mobile will also not be supporting the eSIM at the current time, according to company spokespeople who talked to PCMag. T-Mobile said that eSIM support is in the works and will be available “when its software is ready” with no timeline provided. Verizon, meanwhile, said that eSIMs will be available after some kinks are worked out.

It’s also worth noting that Verizon customers should not activate eSIMs from other companies at this time because of performance issues. As outlined by PCMag, when a physical Verizon SIM is relegated into a “secondary” position by an eSIM from another company, the Verizon connection gets downgraded to the 2G CDMA network.

Verizon says it is working with Apple to resolve this issue to allow its customers to use eSIM without a performance hit.

“Wireless customers will be able to activate Verizon service eSIMs as soon as we’re confident you’ll be able to have the great, high-quality service you expect from us on both your primary and secondary line. If you are a Verizon customer and you activate another carrier’s service on your iPhone’s eSIM, your Verizon service will be degraded due to the current software configuration.

“Based on our discussions with Apple, we believe these concerns will be resolved quickly and you should be able to add our great Verizon service on your secondary line before the end of the year. Until the secondary line can deliver Verizon’s full suite of voice and high-speed data services, we won’t activate Verizon service on any eSIM. This includes our own customers’ iPhones with dual SIM capabilities as well as iPhones on competitors’ networks.”

The fourth major carrier in the United States, Sprint, is not on Apple’s list of carriers that are going to be implementing eSIM support, but Sprint has said it will add support at some point.

The eSIM, or digital SIM, is a non-physical SIM card slot that pairs with the physical SIM card in the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR to enable dual-SIM dual-standby, a feature that lets iPhone users have two phone numbers available at once.

With dual-SIM support, iPhone users are supposed to be able to swap between the two phone numbers readily, alleviating the need for a second phone or SIM swapping for work and travel.

While eSIM support will not be available from the major carriers in the United States at this time, it is available in other countries around the world. Apple has a list of all the carriers supporting eSIM functionality on its website.

On Apple’s site, eSIM support for AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile says “coming later this year,” suggesting the three carriers are aiming to launch the feature before the end of 2018.

Related Roundups: iPhone XS, iOS 12, iPhone XR

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Waymo gets first California OK for driverless testing without backup driver

Alphabet Inc’s Waymo unit on Tuesday became the first company to receive a permit from the state of California to test driverless vehicles without a backup driver in the front seat, the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles said.

Los Angeles prosecutors decline to charge Stallone after sexual assault allegation

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office has decided there is not enough evidence to prosecute “Rocky” actor Sylvester Stallone over allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman in 1987 and 1990, according to an agency document released on Tuesday.

2018 iPad Pro hands-on: Improving on the world’s best tablet

Valentina Palladino

Apple already had the best tablet on the market with the iPad Pro, but for the company’s target audience of creative and tech-y professionals and hobbyists, that wasn’t always enough. Even the iPad “Pro” had limitations that made it hard to see it as a true laptop replacement. So, Apple has introduced new iPad Pro models that address some of those limitations while bringing in many of the company’s biggest ideas from the newer iPhones.

I handled both of the new models at Apple’s event in Brooklyn earlier today, and I was surprised how different they felt and looked compared to last year’s models or even to this year’s iPad. But what really matters is what’s inside, and that’s intriguing, too.

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American Craft Beer Is Being Inspired By Japanese Sake

Craft beer and sake industries are collaborating with each other for further opportunities in the competitive beverage market.

Waymo gets green light from California DMV: AVs in some cities are ok

This is the sixth type of vehicle Waymo has added its self-driving technology to. The company has also ordered thousands of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans for its fleet.

Waymo and the California Department of Motor Vehicles announced Tuesday that the Golden State had approved a permit for the self-driving-car company to drive in a handful of Silicon Valley cities.

Those cities include Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Sunnyvale, and Alphabet’s home city of Mountain View.

Waymo, which was formerly a division of Alphabet subsidiary Google, has been allowed under state law to operate autonomous cars since 2014. The new permit, the DMV says, “allows the company to test a fleet of about three dozen test vehicles without drivers behind the wheel.”

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Twitter’s U.S. midterms hub is a hot mess

Today, Jack Dorsey tweeted a link to his company’s latest gesture toward ongoing political relevance, a U.S. midterms news center collecting “the latest news and top commentary” on the country’s extraordinarily consequential upcoming election. If curated and filtered properly, that could be useful! Imagine. Unfortunately, rife with fake news, the tool is just another of Twitter’s small yet increasingly consequential disasters.

Beyond a promotional tweet from Dorsey, Twitter’s new offering is kind of buried — probably for the best. On desktop it’s a not particularly useful mash of national news reporters, local candidates and assorted unverifiable partisans. As Buzzfeed news details, the tool is swimming with conspiracy theories, including ones involving the migrant caravan. According to his social media posts, the Pittsburgh shooter was at least partially motivated by similar conspiracies, so this is not a good look to say the least.

Why launch a tool like this before performing the most basic cursory scan for the kind of low-quality sources that already have your company in hot water? Why have your chief executive promote it? Why why why

A few hours after Dorsey’s tweet, likely after the prominent callout, the main feed looked a bit tamer than it did at first glance. Subpages for local races appear mostly populated by candidates themselves, while the national feed looks more like an algorithmically generated echo chamber version of my regular Twitter feed, with inexplicably generous helpings of MSNBC pundits and more lefty activists.

For Twitter users already immersed in conspiracies, particularly those that incubate so successfully on the far right, does this feed offer yet another echo chamber disguised as a neutral news source? In spite of its sometimes dubiously left-leanings, my feed is still peppered with tweets from undercover video provocateur James O’Keefe — not exactly a high quality source.

In May, Twitter announced that political candidates would get a special badge, making them stand out from other users and potential imposters. That was useful! Anything that helps Twitter function as a fast news source with light context is a positive step, but unfortunately we haven’t seen a whole lot in this direction.

Social media companies need to stop launching additional amplification tools into the ominous void. No social tech company has yet exhibited a meaningful understanding of the systemic shifts that need to happen — possibly product-rending shifts — to dissuade bad actors and straight up disinformation from spreading like a back-to-school virus. 

Unfortunately, a week before the U.S. midterm elections, Twitter looks as disinterested as ever in the social disease wreaking havoc on its platform, even as users suffer its real-life consequences. Even more unfortunate for any members of its still dedicated, weary userbase, Twitter’s latest wholly avoidable minor catastrophe comes as a surprise to no one.