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On Wednesday, Apple announced its new iPhone 14, and with that announcement came the news that the typical SIM slot is now history, at least in the US. The iPhone 14 lineup in the US will only carry an eSIM instead of a physical SIM card. How are major US phone carriers adapting to that change?
SEE: eSIM vs. SIM: What's the difference?
When you purchase an iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro it will already arrive with a ready to activate eSIM, and all you have to do is activate it through your carrier. Good news: the three major US phone carriers, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, already support eSIM activation.
Verizon already had an eSIM system in place that allows you to activate a phone over W-Fi in minutes. The process is especially easy if you purchase the phone from Verizon or unlocked from the Apple store.
"Verizon makes it super easy to activate a new phone with eSIM. If you are buying the phone from Verizon or unlocked from Apple with an existing Verizon account, the process is seamless. The phone will automatically activate on eSIM during the initial setup," Verizon told ZDNET.
If you already own a phone and are switching to Verizon, all you need to do is download the "My Verizon App" from the app store or visit their website to activate the eSIM. Utilizing the same app you can switch from other carriers or upgrade your account without having to wait for a physical SIM card.
You can find step-by-step directions on the Verizon website.
With AT&T, you can also automatically set up your eSIM over Wi-Fi when purchasing the phone.
"AT&T embraces the customer benefits of eSIM, and will enable new and existing customers to activate their new iPhone 14 using eSIM online and in store," said AT&T to ZDNET.
If switching from another carrier to AT&T with an approved, unlocked, eSIM capable phone, all you have to do is download the AT&T app to set up an account and activate the phone, eliminating the need to go to the physical store.
Another perk of the eSIM is that if you already have a phone number with AT&T and simply wish to move it to another eSIM supporting device, you can do that online as well.
You can find step-by-step directions on the AT&T website.
T-Mobile has been embracing eSIMs before the Apple announcement. At this carrier, having an eSIM compatible phone has a bonus perk–free unlimited, high-speed data.
T-Mobile has a Network Pass program which allows you to take advantage of T-Mobile's unlimited data for three months for free. To participate in this trial, you can still keep your phone, your number and plan to take advantage of the unlimited data, which includes 5G. Only requirement: having an eSIM compatible phone.
If you plan on purchasing the new iPhone, like the other carriers, you can activate your T-Mobile plan by connecting to Wi-Fi and choosing to activate your plan when prompted.
You can find step-by-step directions on the T-Mobile website.