iPhone Dual-SIM Hacks: How to Upgrade Your Apple Phone to Support 2 Physical SIM Cards

A hidden iPhone hardware upgrade was recently discovered! Now, Apple iPhones can support up to two physical nano-SIM cards.

Only Apple owners in China used to enjoy dual-sim support in their iPhones. Their devices like iPhone XR, iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 could support two physical nano-SIMs, even from different network providers.

A YouTuber recently had the idea to swap the SIM reader and card tray from a non-Chinese iPhone with the hardware from China. Surprisingly, his modded iPhone managed to provide dual-SIM support!


Apple iPhone Supports 2 Physical SIM Cards

Remember that Apple generally supports dual-SIM functionality. However, the software and hardware systems are different depending on the device.

Apple models iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone 12 found in the China mainland all allow two physical nano-SIM cards.

For the rest of the world, the iPhone features dual SIM functionality with one nano-SIM and an eSIM. As written on the Apple Support Page, “An eSIM is a digital SIM that allows you to activate a cellular plan from your carrier without having to use a physical nano-SIM.”

Apple models iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, or later using iOS 12.1 or higher all support eSIM technology.


How to Upgrade Your Apple iPhone

In highlight, most iPhone models share the same hardware. This specifically implies that some components are interchangeable because they share the same size and placement on the iPhone machinery.

Also, note that the YouTuber intended to override the eSIM feature and convert it to support a physical nano-SIM instead. This means that only iPhone models with dual SIM functionality (physical and eSIM) can be upgraded to support two physical nano-sims.

iPhone Dual-SIM Hacks: Support 2 Physical SIM cards

YouTuber Hugh Jeffreys posted a complete walkthrough video of how he upgraded his iPhone 12 to support two physical nano-SIMs.

Since the YouTuber used an iPhone 12 (US model) for the upgrade, he specifically ordered “a dual SIM replacement for a Chinese iPhone 12 for $24.” The video emphasized that both SIM trays look exactly the same, except for the dual contacts (that reads the physical SIM cards) and the QR code, likely containing the serial number.

The YouTuber also highlighted that the iPhone 12 has a modular SIM reader, making it easy to access and upgrade.

After installation, the YouTuber showed that the iPhone 12 had no problem reading the physical dual SIMs. Upon start-up, the iPhone automatically activated with a setup notification. Users need to finish this configuration, like selecting the default sim card, before starting the device.

Lastly, the YouTuber showed the iPhone 12 making a call with the different SIM cards. It is safe to assume that the iPhone 12 maintained full functionality even with the hidden upgrade.

It is important to note that the process can be complicated. If you are unsure of how to take off the display screen from the device, do not try it.