Apple eSIM update: AT&T supports it now, Verizon to support it tomorrow, T-Mobile is ‘working on it’

eSIM chart
Research firm IHS predicts growth in the eSIM market. (IHS)

Apple released a new version of its iOS operating system for iPhones, and as a result, the nation’s wireless network operators are switching on support for the company’s eSIM implementation.

An AT&T representative confirmed to FierceWireless that the carrier is now activating eSIM on the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR.

“AT&T does not charge for a SIM Card/eSIM Card for device upgrades or new lines of service (new line or add-a-line),” the representative said when questioned about the cost for the service.

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Verizon, for its part, confirmed a report to FierceWireless that it will begin supporting Apple’s eSIM tomorrow. The company didn’t immediately respond to questions about the possible costs surrounding the service for customers.

And a T-Mobile representative told FierceWireless that the operator is working on supporting Apple’s eSIM, but didn’t provide any further information.

Sprint reiterated that it will support eSIM at some point in the future; the company wasn't among the initial operators that pledged support for Apple's eSIM.

Related: Editor’s Corner—It’s time to start getting excited about eSIM

The GSMA released its eSIM specification for consumer devices in 2015. The specification essentially allows users to “pull” service to their device from whatever provider they want; it replaces a physical SIM card with a digital SIM.

Apple announced support for eSIM technology when it announced its newest iPhones earlier this year.

However, Apple is not positioning eSIM technology like the GSMA is, as a way to easily switch carriers. Instead, Apple is selling eSIM as a way to maintain two different phone numbers on the same device—the so-called dual-SIM setup.

Specifically, users can maintain one number on a physical SIM card and a separate number, potentially from a separate operator, on the gadget’s eSIM. This, according to Apple, allows you to use one number for business and another number for personal calls, or to add a local data plan when you travel, or to have separate voice and data plans.