What's the difference between an "eSIM" and a "Digital SIM"?

I thought that ESIM and Digital SIM were the same thing, to be distinguished from a physical SIM. However, my iPhone SE shows that I have an ESIM and a Digital SIM, and they have different IMEI numbers.

Screenshot of iPhone SE settings showing both an ESIM and DIGITAL SIM with different IMEI numbers

In the past, I think I remember that this used to show a section for what it called a "Physical SIM" but I think that section was replaced with what now says "Digital SIM". This was after changing SIM cards, carriers, and updating the APN settings.

Answers 1

  • An eSIM can be thought of as a type of digital SIM.

    You can store multiple eSIMs on a phone, and thus have several listings of them (only one can be activated at the same time though).

    The digital SIM listing is there even when you have no eSIMs installed. When you have 1 eSIM installed, you'll see both the basic capability of digital SIM shown as well as the actual eSIM.

    So all in all this is perfectly normal.


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