[Update: Nov. 16] Will One UI 3.0 (Android 11) update enable eSIM support on Samsung Galaxy devices in U.S.?
New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….
Original story (published on October 04, 2020) follows:
The Subscriber Identity/Identification Module card (SIM Card) has been with us for as long as we’ve had mobile phones. Of course, it has shrunk a great deal over the years but we’ve needed to have it in our phones for a while now.
Considering just how complex, capable, and sophisticated our smartphones have become today, it is growing increasingly difficult to justify why we need a physical chip to be inserted so we can get carrier service.
Enter the era of the eSIM. Embedded-SIM/eSIM is an increasingly growing trend that effectively does away with the physical SIM Card in favor of one that is embedded into your device and which you can program to your specific carrier.
We’ve seen a few devices, especially high-end ones like the new iPhones, support this feature.
Not too long ago, we saw the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 get an update that, among other things, enabled support for eSIM. This is a bid deal as it now allows users to use dual SIMs on their devices.
It also turns out that the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra spots the same eSIM/UWP/NFC all-in-one package that the Z Fold2 uses. This, therefore, means that the Note 20 Ultra is also capable of supporting eSIM.
According to Max Weinbach, it’ll only take an update to enable this feature on supported devices. And this now begs the question, shall we see Samsung Galaxy devices get support for eSIMs in the US with the upcoming One UI 3.0 update?
Well first, you need to know that eSIM support depends on a few factors. You will need to have a device whose hardware supports eSIM. These are new devices but the list is bound to grow in the coming months.
The device’s software also needs to support eSIM before the feature is available to the user. This is where we’ve seen Samsung chickening out.
You will then need your carrier to support this feature and provide you with the eSIM, usually in the form of a long code, a scannable bar-code of a QR Code.
At the time of writing, US carriers have a lot of reservations on this matter as enabling eSIM on its carrier devices will mean that users can use competing telecoms as their secondary SIMs, effectively poking holes on their contract model that has worked for years.
However, it is likely that we might see supported Samsung devices get access to their devices’ eSIM feature with Android 11-based One UI 3.0. That said, we don’t know anything for sure so you might want to take this with a pinch of salt.
We shall be on hand to update as and when we get more details on this development so stay tuned to PiunikaWeb for that and more.
Update 1 (December 23)
10:15 am (IST): In response to a user’s query regarding eSIM support with the Android 11 update, a Samsung Care Ambassador has claimed that it’s unlikely that we’ll see eSIM activated anytime soon.
Unfortunately, I don’t think we will see eSIM activated anytime soon. I’m also disappointed, it would be useful. (Source)
Update 2 (January 29)
10:30 am (IST): In yet another disappointment to Samsung fans in the U.S, the Galaxy S21 series will not support eSIM functionality out of the box in the country. While the device supports it, the feature is currently blocked.
However, it appears that the Samsung Galaxy S21 series will get eSIM support via a software update around mid-year, at least on T-Mobile. The information was allegedly shared to an individual by T-Mobile support via chat.
While this is indeed good news, we’d suggest taking it with a grain of salt since the same information was shared with Galaxy S20 series users. That said, we’ll simply have to wait and see whether or not eSIM support is actually activated or not.
Update 3 (April 15)
05:52 pm (IST): Samsung is reportedly rolling out a new update for the T-Mobile Galaxy Note 20 Ultra bringing with it e-SIM support.
Update 4 (September 16)
11:34 am (IST): Android 12 Beta is out for the Samsung Galaxy S21 and reports indicate that it finally adds support for eSIM for the device in the USA.
Update 5 (November 16)
1:50 pm (IST): Stable One UI 4 is rolling out to users of the Galaxy S21 devices and to their delight, support for e-SIM has been introduced.
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