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iPhone XS/XS Max/XR Dual Sim Guide

Level 21: Regular
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Hi there -

  • If you've landed on this guide in search for information related to the new Apple devices (iPhone 11, 11 Pro & Pro Max), head over here to our Apple megathread for more information. slight_smile
  • If you're looking for info on eSIM, see latest updates here!



As someone running a dual SIM setup on my iPhone XS Max I thought I’d provide a handy guide for anyone setting up this service.




In order to run a dual sim setup you need the following


iPhone XS/XS Max/XR - ideally unlocked unless you want to run dual lines on EE (which would be odd on an O2 user forum) as the eSIM will lock to the same network as the nano sim tray


A line on EE - iPhone’s dual sim setup at the time of writing this guide requires the use of an embedded eSIM and the only network to support eSIM at the time of writing is EE


A line on a second network such as O2




For the line that you are running on the eSIM you will need to perform a SIM swap over to an eSIM. This can be done either by calling EE customer services or visiting a store


Full details on the process can be found at


Once you have moved the EE line to eSIM you can remove your EE sim and insert a sim for O2 (or any other network) to use as your second line. Once you do this the iPhone will detect there are two sims and guide you through a setup process to decide which line is your primary line and which line is your secondary one. It will also ask you what line you want to use for mobile data and iMessage. Only one line can be used for iMessage which is currently an iOS limitation and may not suit people on dual handset setups where you can have two numbers for iMessage. 


These settings are not set in stone and you can change them as and when you need (I often change my mobile data network based on signal strength for example)




I ran into the following issues when I moved to a dual sim setup (most of these issues only apply to the EE line) 


1. Issues sending SMS messages on both lines - this is down to an issue in iOS which prevents you from sending a message to an existing message thread once you move to an eSIM. The issue is solved by either deleting the message thread or waiting for the other person to send an SMS message to you which resolves the issue. The issue may have been resolved in iOS releases that have come out since 12.1

2. BT sport app not working - this is down to a bug in the BT sport app where it doesn’t detect the eSIM on EE. At the moment EE are fixing it by adding a free trial of casting to the accounts of those with the issue which does fix it at least for 3 months

3. Voicemail not working - Visual voicemail will work on both lines once you have it set up right however moving to eSIM completely disabled my voicemail on my EE line. Texting VM ON to 150 on the EE line resolved this. You also need to make sure your O2 line is on an iPhone tariff for visual voicemail to work on that


Hopefully all the above helps for anyone else wanting to run a dual sim setup with EE/O2 on the latest iPhones


If anyone has any questions or issues in setting it up I’m happy to help out where I can