An eSIM is an embedded SIM card that is built into the iPhone’s hardware instead of being a separate, physical SIM card that you can insert into your device. With an eSIM, you can activate cellular service and plans from your carrier without needing to use a physical SIM card.
eSIM technology allows you to switch between carriers or plans directly from your device’s settings menu, without needing to physically swap out SIM cards. This can be particularly useful for people who travel internationally frequently, as they can simply purchase a local data plan for their eSIM without needing to worry about finding a physical SIM card from a local carrier.
Apple introduced eSIM technology with the release of the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR in 2018. Since then, eSIM support has been added to other iPhone models as well as the Apple Watch.