iOS 16 introduces a useful new feature that allows eSIM to be transferred between iPhones via Bluetooth while cellular service is set up.


In the Settings app on your iPhone with iOS 16, tapping on “Set up eSIM” brings up an option to transfer the eSIM and its associated phone number from another iPhone via Bluetooth. To transfer an eSIM from another iPhone, Apple says to make sure the other iPhone is nearby, unlocked, Bluetooth turned on, and running iOS 16 or later.

The feature appears to be available in several countries, including the US and UK, but it is only possible to complete Bluetooth transfers for eSIMs issued by carriers that support the feature. Since iOS 16 was only announced a few days ago and is currently in beta, carrier support may be limited at the moment.

Apple also continues to offer the more traditional option of setting up an eSIM by scanning a QR code provided by your carrier.

An eSIM is a digital SIM that allows you to activate a cellular plan from a carrier without having to use a physical nano-SIM. A single eSIM is available on iPhone XS and later, while all four iPhone 13 models support dual eSIMs.

The first iOS 16 beta was put out for developers earlier this week, and a public beta will be available in July. Apple said iOS 16 will be released in the fall, at which point this new eSIM porting feature will be available to all users.

(Thanks, Carson!)

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