eSim transfer from one device to another is coming to Android

Edwin Chabuka Avatar

So Android is working on a feature to transfer your eSIM from one phone to another and it is a HUGE deal. But to understand how big of a deal it is, we first need to understand the problem.

Quick 411 on what an eSIM is

So an eSIM is basically a downloaded SIM card. It works exactly like a physical sim with the only difference being it’s not physical so you cannot just pop open a sim tray and load it in. You download the SIM information from your service provider onto your smartphone.

The problem that comes with eSIMs

Where the problem comes in is when you need to switch devices. You will need to remove the SIM from the old phone and put it into the new phone. It is a very easy process with a physical SIM card because you just eject it from the old phone and insert it into the new one. Not so easy with an eSIM.

In more progressive countries you will need to use your service provider’s app to log into your account and receive a link to download a new eSIM. Slight inconvenience compared to a physical sim. In Zimbabwe, you will actually need to physically visit an Econet shop to get the eSIM loaded onto your device. I’m namedropping Econet because it is the only service provider issuing eSims at the time of filming this video.

So an eSIM is quite a hassle when it comes to switching devices and for people who frequently swap their line between different devices, be it moving the sim from a device with an empty battery to one with a full battery or between a phone and a tablet or even to use mobile internet on their LTE enabled laptop, you are better off with a physical sim.

The upcoming Android solution

But it seems Android is looking into it and has made significant progress in making it a seamless process to transfer an eSIM profile from one Android device to another. How it will work is that when you initiate the eSIM profile transfer on one device, it will generate a QR code which you then scan on the new device. This QR code will then download the eSIM profile from your old device to your current one. If anyone was wondering, no, this will not make it possible to use the same number for calls and SMS on 2 different devices.

Apple already has it…

Over the fence, Apple already has this feature and it works between 2 iPhones. The prerequisites are of course that you need to have an iPhone that supports an eSIM, a service provider that offers the eSIM service, and iOS 16 or newer. You can even convert a physical SIM to an eSIM on an iPhone but it requires your service provider to already support it. Something that I have not tested on Econet in Zimbabwe.

Back to Android, The feature was spotted in a Beta version of Android 13, Android 13 QPR2 Beta 2 update, released in January this year. As for when it will be released for the masses, there are no dates yet. There is just some hope that it might be coming in Android 14 which should be out with the Pixel 8 series of smartphones later this year. It’s not going to solve all the problems that physical sim cards don’t have like swapping an eSim between a phone and a laptop or between an iPhone and an Android or even between a phone and a fixed or portable LTE or 5G router. But at least when it eventually arrives, it’s one less problem we will have to face with eSIMs.



  1. Gaijin

    Well stealing phones will be close to impossible now, thumbs up to econet doing this

    1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

      Factory reset + delete eSim. 🤔

      1. Edask

        No that easy. Even after resetting, most android 9 phones would still request their last email account. They dont allow you to either disable data or turn the phone off.

        1. The Boy Lee

          Frp bypass iriko mukuru wank zvima small small.

  2. Core95

    I am 8/10 years away from affording phones that support this kind of tech.
    But you never knew with the Chinese. They always pull out something out thin air(like that itel with a 256 GB memory).

  3. Sim You Later

    Nice, as long as they don’t phase sims out in my budget range!