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When Samsung listed eSIM support
as present in the Q&A section for its new Galaxy S21 series
, some jumped the gun and on the S21 deals
with the hope that at long last the eSIM abilities of Samsung's flagships phones will be unleashed in the US.
Unfortunately, just like with the S20 models before them, the S21 phones only support eSIM functionality in theory, it turned out, but it is not active on US carriers. Apple and Google managed to convince Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and the like, to allow the embedded SIM option for iPhones and Pixels on their networks, and it's been running strong for a while now.
Samsung, however, doesn't have nearly the same clout with the main US carriers, it seems, and their reluctance to support eSIM plans translates into firmware-baked inactivation of the otherwise present hardware on the new phones.
Do the Galaxy S21, S21+, or S21 Ultra support eSIM on T-Mobile, Verizon, ot AT&T?
- Verizon: Dual SIM with an eSIM is currently not supported on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G.
- T-Mobile: To date, iPhone XS and newer are compatible with the T-Mobile eSIM solution.
- AT&T: only iPhone XS and up, or Pixel 4 and up.
US carriers have long balked at the fact that an "eSIM allows you to activate a mobile network plan right on your phone, so you can switch data plans or add an overseas phone number without the physical Nano SIM
," as described by Samsung. They were subject to a probe by the DOJ on exactly that same eSIM matter
not long ago, and the issues should have been resolved by now.
Not so fast, it turns out, and, if you are buying the Galaxy S21, S21+, and S21 Ultra with the idea that you can scan a QR code and add an eSIM plan to your phone, you have to get non-US models, as this video manual of eSIM support from Samsung Germany implies.