Also: eSIM vs. SIM: What’s the difference? You can follow my day-to-day project updates on social media. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @DavidGewirtz, on Facebook at, on Instagram at, and on YouTube at SIM cards are removable. Removing the card from one phone and placing it in another effectively moves the phone number and billing data from the first phone to the second. Burner phones also have SIM cards, but those cards are tied to a prepaid telephony service, and so the carrier allows phone calls or text messages without having a record of the identity of the person actually making the call. According to Apple, iPhones bought from Apple are unlocked, and can be used with any supported carrier. Apple states, “The exception is when you buy an iPhone with an AT&T Installment Plan. It will be locked to AT&T and will only work on the AT&T network for the term of your Installment Plan agreement.” ZDNET has reached out to Apple to get a better answer about whether the eSIM in the iPhone 14 is implemented solely via its own dedicated hardware component, embedded into the SBC (single-board computer), or via software. We’ll update this article if we get a more definitive answer. iPhones up through the iPhone X supported SIM cards only. iPhones after the iPhone X (the XR through iPhone 13 series) supported what Apple calls Dual SIM (nano-SIM and eSIM). Essentially, these devices have both a SIM tray with a removable SIM card and eSIM capability. The iPhone 13 series introduced the ability to support Dual eSIM as well. What makes the iPhone 14 unique is that it removed the physical SIM support for all US-sold phones and only supports eSIM. It, too has dual eSIM support. XDA reports that there will be three SIM variants of iPhones, “There’s an eSIM-only version for the United States, an eSIM plus physical SIM version for most of the world, and a dual physical SIM version for China.” According to MacRumors, iPhone 14 models sold in China will have a SIM tray. An image captured by a Reddit user shows that Dual SIM support will be available for iPhone 14 devices sold in China. In a support thread, a new iPhone 14 purchaser verified that they were giving up their Ting service. Earlier in the thread, a Ting representative stated “We do not support eSIM at this time. We want to, badly. But we need approval from several different entities, as we do not own our own towers. These entities have not given their approval to us or any other MVNO for eSIM, so it’s not supported.” Also: Here’s how the major carriers are handling the iPhone 14 eSIM There are some gotchas to this. It’s still possible for a savvy social engineer to convince a carrier to swap credentials even if the phone is eSIM-only. This is the case with nearly all social-engineering hacks, though. Human error, a lack of human attention, or overworked or tired operators could miss a security verification step and assign credentials to a crafty grifter. But eSIMs do make it harder because the hackers don’t have a blank SIM to start with. In some cases, bargain carriers will be unavailable, so whether in the US or traveling abroad, those used to finding carriers who provide the best deals will undoubtedly find themselves paying more. From Apple’s perspective, had they only one variant, you could say that it was simplifying the circuit. But since Apple appears to be supporting some SIM-free phones, some with SIM and eSIM, and dual SIM in China, that simplification benefit isn’t there. From the perspective of major carriers, it somewhat herds users into the premium carrier club, preventing iPhone 14 users in the US from using cheap seat carriers like Ting. From the perspective of law enforcement, iPhones 14s will be easier to trace back to their owners, but all of the other legendary iPhone privacy features remain intact. So there you go. Are you concerned about losing physical SIM cards? Do you travel? Will using your iPhone 14 in China be an issue for you? Let us know in the comments below.