New Delhi: Let’s face it! Apple Inc. was never going to launch a “cheap" iPhone for India. However, the company did effect one important change in its flagship device that makes sense in this country—iPhones now support two SIM cards.

All three new iPhones—XS, XS Max and XR—unveiled on Wednesday support two SIM cards.

Unlike other manufacturers, though, Apple is doing this with its eSIM technology, except in China where the phone will have two actual SIM cards inside.

Both these eSIMs will support 4G connectivity and be simultaneously operable. The same is true for data connectivity as well.

What is an eSIM? Short for embedded subscriber identity module, it is not something you have to buy from an operator. Instead, the operator can provide connectivity through it over the air and the SIM itself is soldered onto the iPhone’s motherboard. It will replace the physical SIM card with a virtual embedded equivalent that cannot be removed.

Since Apple’s eSIM technology is already approved by the department of telecommunications, it’s likely that the company will use it for its new iPhones here.

It’s worth noting that currently only Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd and Bharti Airtel Ltd provide eSIM services in the country.

That means customers of other telcos will have to take a second connection from either Airtel or Jio.

What does this mean for you? The fact that iPhones now support two SIM cards is perhaps the first real sign that Apple needs markets like India to adopt its devices faster.

Experts have often cited the lack of dual-SIM connectivity as one of the reasons why Apple’s phones don’t do as well in India, as they do globally.

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