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Verizon and T-Mobile don't support iOS 12's dual-SIM feature

New iPhones can connect to two separate carriers using a single SIM card, but there are some issues with Verizon and T-Mobile. (Image via iFixIt)
New iPhones can connect to two separate carriers using a single SIM card, but there are some issues with Verizon and T-Mobile. (Image via iFixIt)
Apple is rolling out iOS 12.1 today, and if you have an iPhone Xs, Xs Max, or XR, you can use Apple's new dual-SIM feature... as long as you're not using Verizon on your digital SIM or as your secondary number. Both T-Mobile and Verizon have stated that their networks are not ready to fully support the dual-SIM tech but are working on getting their networks up to scratch "in the near future."
Sam Medley,

It’s been a busy day for Apple. The Cupertino company released a slew of updated devices and rolled out iOS 12.1, but not everything is sunshine and rainbows. The dual-SIM feature baked into iOS 12.1, which lets you use a single SIM card on two separate networks, apparently doesn’t work with Verizon or T-Mobile.

The dual-SIM feature in iOS 12.1, which is only available on the iPhone Xs, Xs Max, and XR, is a bit of a misnomer. Rather than allowing users to use two physical SIM cards, like some Android phones, iOS’s dual-SIM uses a physical SIM card and created a second virtual SIM card. However, the feature is almost useless here in the United States as only one of the four major carriers seems prepared to support it.

Sprint is still working on getting its network ready to handle the eSIM piece of iOS 12.1’s dual-SIM tech, but T-Mobile and Verizon were both short-listed for the feature. T-Mobile said that it is still working on getting everything ready for it, so the virtual SIM can’t be used on that network.

Perhaps the most annoying hiccup lies with Verizon. The nation’s largest mobile carrier is blocking users from activating Verizon’s service on the digital SIM line. If you connect to a different network using the digital SIM and connect to Verizon with the physical SIM card as the secondary number, Verizon will push your connection to its 2G network.

That’s a big problem. In addition to a major speed decrease, 2G CMDA (the network Verizon bumps you to if set as the secondary number) doesn’t support things like MMS or FaceTime, which are critical features for some iPhone users.

Verizon has said that it’s working on the problem and hopes to have a solution pushed out soon. However, there’s no timeline set on it just yet. In the meantime, it looks like you’ll need to keep Verizon as the primary number unless you want your phone to be severely crippled on the “nation’s fastest 4G LTE network.”


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Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Senior Tech Writer - 1171 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2016
I've been a computer geek my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a database administrator. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news and reviews. I've also written for other outlets including UltrabookReview and GeeksWorldWide, focusing on consumer guidance and video gaming. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not writing on electronics or tinkering with a device, I'm either outside with my family, enjoying a decade-old video game, or playing drums or piano.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 10 > Verizon and T-Mobile don't support iOS 12's dual-SIM feature
Sam Medley, 2018-10-30 (Update: 2018-10-30)