The Apple iPhone XR, iPhone 11, or iPhone 12, particularly for the U.S. market, can get true built-in dual nano-SIM support. Surprisingly, the upgrade does not need any software hacks as the device readily accepts the new hardware.
Apple has never been friendly with dual SIM functionality. Hence, the company delayed the feature until 2018. A new and surprisingly simple hardware modification can allow the latest Apple iPhone to accommodate two physical SIM cards.
American and international Apple iPhone XR, iPhone 11, and iPhone 12 have dual SIM but in eSIM format:
Android smartphones have had dual SIM support for a very long time. However, Apple withheld the much-needed function until 2018.
It is not clear why Apple held back the feature in an iPhone. Moreover, when the company did relent, it took a different approach.
An Apple iPhone from the iPhone X series does have dual SIM support. But, there’s no physical slot to slide in the second SIM card.
Hi. We’re happy to assist. The use of two nano-SIM cards is available for models purchased in certain regions. Read more here: https://t.co/sYHHTUCAXq
The iPhone 11 Pro Max does also support Dual SIM with an eSIM: https://t.co/zbLGSlz5rA
— Apple Support (@AppleSupport) November 2, 2020
Apple sells dual SIM iPhone models with eSIM support in the global market. In other words, instead of a physical slot, the telecom carriers use software to program support for their networks on the second SIM.
Incidentally, dual nano-SIM support is not available on iPhones outside of China. In other words, Apple iPhones sold in China have two separate slots to insert two individual SIM cards.
Now, a YouTuber has proven the Apple merely locks down the feature in international markets using hardware limitations. Simply put, a hardware modification can offer real dual SIM support in an Apple iPhone.
From eSIM to an actual second SIM slot inside a U.S. Apple iPhone XR, iPhone 11, and iPhone 12:
Hugh Jeffreys, an active YouTuber has successfully converted his iPhone 12 (American model) into a true dual nano-SIM iPhone with two physical SIM slots. Needless to mention, the device had a single physical SIM slot and eSIM support for the second SIM.
In a nutshell, Jeffreys ordered a dual nano-SIM reader from China, which is compatible with his iPhone 12. He then proceeded to replace the existing SIM reader that has only one physical SIM slot.
It is important to note that getting to the SIM reader hardware isn’t exactly easy. The video guide clearly shows the display has to come off. However, the process itself is fairly easy.
It seems Apple uses a modular SIM reader for the iPhone XR, 11, and 12. Hence, the dual nano-SIM reader was automatically compatible with the American model. No hardware modifications were needed to integrate the new SIM reader.
Interestingly, when Jeffreys booted up the iPhone 12, it automatically detected the new SIM reader and offered two new options on the SIM settings page.
Previously, the device showed “Physical SIM” and “Digital SIM” on the Settings page. After the mod, the device started showing showing “Front SIM” and “Back SIM”.
What’s even more interesting is that the iPhone allowed a simple and straightforward configuration process. The device even allowed naming the two SIM cards and choosing the default one. Needless to add, both the SIM cards functioned correctly offering calls and messages.