How to transfer your SIM from an Android phone to an iPhone 14

With Apple moving to an eSIM-only setup on this year’s iPhone 14 lineup, it might seem like things have gotten more complicated for people looking to switch from another smartphone platform. After all, you won’t be able to switch your SIM card from your old phone to your iPhone 14, because you have nowhere to put it, at least on US iPhone 14 models.

However, the good news is that this is not as complicated as it seems. Although Apple has worked with carriers to allow for a very seamless transition of your physical SIM or eSIM from an earlier iPhone model, it’s still easy to use an eSIM even if you’re coming from a different platform like Android.

While Apple’s decision to switch exclusively to eSIM is getting the most attention right now, it’s important to remember that eSIM is not Apple’s proprietary technology. Many Android devices released in recent years also support eSIM, including those from Google, Samsung, Oppo, Huawei, and others.

Unfortunately, methods like Apple’s eSIM Quick Transfer are owner, which means you won’t be able to move your eSIM from Android to iPhone as easily as you can from iPhone to iPhone. Instead, you’ll have to rely on the options offered by your mobile carrier.

How to activate eSIM using eSIM carrier activation

If you bought your iPhone 14 from a carrier that supports Apple eSIM carrier activation, there’s a good chance it’s ready to go right out of the box, regardless of which platform it came from. This is similar to how most carriers used to send out a new SIM card to use with your new iPhone, with a quick process to activate the new SIM card and deactivate the old one.

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US wireless carriers that support Apple’s carrier activation feature include AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, as well as Boost Mobile, Cellcom, Credo Mobile, C Spire, FirstNet, H2O Wireless, Spectrum Mobile, Straight Talk, Strata, Tracfone, US Cellular and Xfinity Mobile.

With eSIM Carrier Activation, your iPhone 14 is pre-assigned to your carrier’s network based on your IMEI and other internal device identifiers. When you first set up your iPhone 14, you download the information needed to set up the eSIM for your account. You just need to make sure that your iPhone is connected to a Wi-Fi network during the setup process.

Step 1 – Swipe up from Welcome screen to start setting up your new iPhone 14.

Step 2 – When prompted, select the Wi-Fi network you want to connect to and enter the Wi-Fi password.


Apple

Step 3: Wait for the iPhone 14 activation process to complete.

Step 4: If a Choose a mobile plan screen appears, select the plan associated with your eSIM, then select Continue.

Step 5: Choose Continue when Full mobile network setup a message appears.

Mobile operators that support eSIM carrier activation can also remotely configure your eSIM. If your eSIM isn’t automatically enabled during the initial setup process, either because it’s not set up correctly or because you bought it from Apple or another retailer, you can call their customer support and have them set it up for you.

In that case, please complete your iPhone setup. Once your carrier has enabled your eSIM and it’s ready to go, you’ll get a notification saying Mobile operator plan ready to install. Select that and follow the instructions to accept the new plan.

How to transfer your eSIM using your carrier’s app

Many mobile apps provided by carriers to manage your account also offer ways to transfer a physical SIM or eSIM from another phone to the new eSIM on your iPhone 14.

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The method of doing this will depend on the carrier and the app you’re using, but one thing they all have in common is that you won’t be able to set up your eSIM during the initial setup process. Instead, you’ll need to set up your iPhone 14 over Wi-Fi, skip the eSIM setup, and then download and use your carrier’s app once everything else is up and running.

Step 1 – Swipe up from Welcome screen to start setting up your new iPhone 14.

Step 2: Continue through the setup process until you get to Set up a mobile network screen.

Step 3: Choose Set up later in Settings.

Three iPhones show the steps to set up an eSIM using the Mint Mobile app.
Andrew Martonik / Digital Trends

Step 4: Finish setting up your iPhone. After you complete the setup process and get to the home screen, download your provider’s app from the App Store and follow the instructions to Install either Transfer your eSIM from your old phone.

How to transfer your eSIM using a QR code

If supported by your carrier, you can also set up your eSIM during initial setup by scanning a QR code. This code is obtained from your carrier and can be mailed to them, obtained at a retail store, or displayed in your account on the carrier’s website.

The advantage of this method over using the mobile app is that you can scan this QR code while setting up your iPhone 14 and you’ll be ready to go right away.

Step 1 – Swipe up from Welcome screen to start setting up your new iPhone 14.

Step 2 – Follow the setup process until you reach the Set up a mobile network screen.

Step 3: Choose Use the QR code.

Three iPhones show the steps to set up an eSIM using a QR code or manual data entry.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Step 4 – Follow the instructions to point the iPhone camera at the QR code. You can do this using a printed code or directly from another screen, such as an old phone, tablet, or computer.

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Step 5 – If you are unable to scan a QR code or your carrier provides you with manual activation codes, choose Enter the details manually and on the next screen, enter the activation information provided by your carrier.

Step 6: Wait for the iPhone 14 eSIM activation process to complete.

Step 7: Choose Continue when Full mobile network setup a message appears.

The steps above should help you move your primary line from the physical SIM card or eSIM on your Android smartphone to the eSIM on your new iPhone 14. However, if you’re not sure, we recommend calling your carrier for help. There are 40 carriers in the US that support eSIMs, and each may have a slightly different method of assigning an eSIM, especially those that don’t use Apple’s eSIM carrier activation feature.

Note that the iPhone 14 has two eSIM cards, which allows it to support two phone lines simultaneously. While you can only move your primary line during initial setup, you can move your second line or set up a new one later through the Settings app. For more information, check out our guide on how to set up and use a second line on an iPhone with eSIM.

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