Android Phones Can Transfer eSIMs Now, With a Catch

It’s still not as simple as eSIM transfer on iPhone.

eSIMs might be getting more popular, but there’s still a big problem with them: in many cases, either a carrier-proprietary self-service SIM transfer portal or a visit to a carrier shop are needed to move an eSIM from one phone to the other. iPhones have figured that out with a tool that lets you transfer out an eSIM to another iPhone, but Android devices have lacked something similar. Now, this kind of tool is rolling out to more Android devices after making a quiet appearance on Pixel phones, but there’s still a big catch.

Android’s new eSIM transfer tool, unveiled during last year’s MWC 2023 conference, is quietly making an appearance on other non-Pixel Android phones. When setting up a new Samsung Galaxy S24 and trying to migrate an eSIM into it, a pop-up may appear on your older Android phone giving you the option to set up your eSIM on your new Android phone. While we can’t confirm whether this will happen with every Android phone that’s on a recent OS version and has eSIM support, it does mean that the rollout has quietly started, and that it should show up in a lot more smartphones within the next few weeks or months.

However, there is one big downside with the new eSIM migration feature. While the eSIM transfer tool on iPhone lets you transfer eSIMs from virtually any carrier between iPhones, the compatibility is much more limited with Android phones: it only seems to work with T-Mobile eSIMs at the moment. That’s annoying for subscribers at either of the other two big carriers in the United States, as well as anyone using sub-carriers like Mint Mobile, Total by Verizon, Cricket Wireless, and others. On the other hand, as this feature expands, Google will likely seek to work with more carriers to expand this to more users.

If you’re not on T-Mobile, you might want to look for your carrier’s own eSIM transfer methods for now. The Galaxy S24 series also still has a physical SIM card tray, as with most other Android phones. Apple is still mostly alone in selling an eSIM-only smartphone.

Source: Android Police


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