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E-SIM / dual SIM iPhone XS handsets will not be available in UAE

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Apple launched the iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max and the iPhone XR last week and one of the new features shared between these phones is dual SIM capability. Apple has implement this through an eSIM as well as a regular nano sized SIM, with China being the exception for getting a model with dual nano SIMs.

However, it looks like the model released in the UAE will not have any kind of dual SIM capabilities- neither through a physical SIM or through eSIM. The following information was posted by the local telco du on their FAQ page (opens in new tab) concerning the iPhone XS:

"E-SIM / dual SIM handsets will not be available in UAE"

We couldn't locate anything related to the above on Etisalat's website for the iPhone XS and have reached out to Etisalat to confirm. Apple does mention on its website (opens in new tab) that "Use of eSIM in iPhone may be disabled when purchased from some carriers" and our guess is that this is a software limitation that will hopefully be lifted once telcos in the region are able to offer eSIM capabilities.

Apple is not enabling eSIM capabilities on the iPhone XS at launch but it is expected to be available through a future software update. However, the information posted by du suggests that the iPhone XS sold in the region will not get these capabilities. 

Update: Both du and Etisalat have reached out to TechRadar and said they're working with Apple to make this available to customers in the near future.

Abbas Jaffar Ali
Abbas Jaffar Ali

Abbas has been living and breathing tech before phones became smart or clouds started storing data. It all started when he got his very first computer- the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. From computers to mobile phones and watches, Abbas is always interested in tech that is smarter and smaller because he believes that tech shouldn’t be something that gets added to your life- it should be a part of your life.