If you’re using an eSIM compatible iPhone and switching to another iPhone of the same capabilities, you’d be disappointed to know that unlike the physical SIM cards you cannot transfer your eSIM to your new iPhone.
It’s not possible to have eSIM transferred from one iPhone to another through an iCloud or iTunes backup. To get eSIM activated on your new iPhone, you’ve to contact the carrier and request for a new eSIM QR code and scan it from Settings » Cellular Data » Add Cellular Plan. If your carrier offers eSIM through an app, like T-Mobile and a few others, it’s even easier to get your eSIM activated on your new iPhone.
We tried restoring a backup from our iPhone XS max with an eSIM to another iPhone XS max, both via iCloud and iTunes and the cellular plan on eSIM wasn’t included in the backup. While this is good from a security point of view, it’s a bit of a hassle to contact the carrier each time you factory reset your iPhone or switch to another eSIM compatible iPhone to get your cellular plan back.
If your carrier offers eSIM through an app, it’s easier to get it activated on your new iPhone. But as far as we know, most carriers at this time require customers to walk into a store to get an eSIM.
We hope wireless carriers find a way to provide a better experience for eSIM users who reset or switch phones frequently. Apple popularized the eSIM standard with iPhone XS, XS Max, and iPhone XR. Now it won’t be late before every flagship Android phone in the coming year features the eSIM functionality. Carriers better ease the process of issuing eSIM to customers for users and their own good.