Using Dual SIM with two nano-SIM cards

In China mainland, Hong Kong and Macao, certain iPhone models feature Dual SIM with two nano-SIM cards. This gives you two phone numbers that you can use to make and receive calls and text messages.

If you have iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone SE (2nd and 3rd generation) or iPhone XS in Hong Kong or Macao, find out how to use Dual SIM with an eSIM.

Here are just a few of the many ways that you can use Dual SIM:

  • Use one number for business and another number for personal calls.
  • Add a local data plan when you're travelling outside the country or region.
  • Have separate voice and data plans.

Both of your phone numbers can make and receive voice and FaceTime calls and send and receive messages using iMessage SMS and MMS.* Your iPhone can use one mobile data network at a time.

* This uses Dual SIM Dual Standby (DSDS) technology, which means that both SIMs can make and receive calls.

What you need

To use Dual SIM, you need iOS 12.1 or later, two nano-SIM cards and one of these iPhone models:

  • iPhone 14
  • iPhone 14 Plus
  • iPhone 14 Pro
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR



SIM tray showing the Front SIM and Back SIM


How to install the nano-SIM cards

Insert a paper clip or SIM ejector tool into the small hole of the SIM card tray and push in towards your iPhone to remove your SIM tray. Note the notch in one corner of the new SIM card. Place the new SIM card into the bottom of the tray – it will fit only one way because of the notch. Then insert the other SIM card into the top tray.

With the two nano-SIM cards in place, fully insert the SIM tray back into the device making sure that you put it back the correct way round. The tray only fits one way.

If your SIM cards are protected with a personal identification number (PIN), note the position – front or back – of each SIM card in the tray. If asked, carefully enter the PINs for the front SIM card and back SIM card.

iPhone screen showing the network provider plan labelled Secondary 

Label your plans

After your second plan has been activated, label your plans. For example, you can label one plan Business and the other plan Personal.

You'll use these labels when you choose which phone number to use for making or receiving calls and messages, to designate a number for mobile data and to assign a number to your contacts so you know which number you will use.

If you change your mind later, you can change your labels by going to Settings > Cellular, or Settings > Mobile Data, and tapping the number's label that you want to change. Then tap Mobile Data Plan Label and select a new label or enter a custom label.

iPhone screen showing a phone number selected as the primary Default Voice Line 

Set your default number

Choose a number to use when you call or send a message to someone who isn't in your Contacts app. Choose which mobile data plans you want to use for iMessage and FaceTime. With iOS 13 and later, you can choose either or both numbers.

On this screen, choose a number to be your default number, or choose which number will only be used for mobile data. Your other number will be your default. If you want your iPhone to use mobile data from both plans, depending on coverage and availability, turn on Allow Mobile Data Switching.

Use two phone numbers for calls, messages and data

Now that your iPhone has been set up with two phone numbers, here's how to use them.

iPhone screen showing a contact’s profile 

Let your iPhone remember which number to use

When you call one of your contacts, you don't need to choose which number to use every time. By default, your iPhone will use the same number that you used the last time you called that contact. If you haven't called that contact, your iPhone will use your default number. If you want to, you can specify which number to use for your calls with a contact. Follow these steps:

  1. Tap the contact.
  2. Tap Preferred Mobile Data Plan.
  3. Tap the number that you want to use for that contact.

Make and receive calls

You can make and receive phone calls with either phone number.

With iOS 13 and later, when you're on a call, if the network provider for your other phone number supports Wi-Fi calling, you can answer incoming calls on your other number. You will need to turn on Allow Mobile Data Switching when you are on a call that isn't your default data line. Or, if you ignore the call and you have voicemail set up with your network provider, you’ll get a missed-call notification and the call will go to voicemail. Check with your provider for Wi-Fi calling availability, and find out if additional fees or data usage from your data provider will apply.

If your network provider doesn't support Wi-Fi calling or you don't have Wi-Fi calling turned on,1 then when you're on a call, an incoming call on your other phone number will go to voicemail, if you’ve set up voicemail with your network provider.2 However, you won't get a missed-call notification from your secondary number. Call Waiting works for incoming calls on the same phone number. To avoid missing an important call, you can turn on call forwarding and forward all calls from one number to the other. Check with your provider for availability and to find out if additional fees apply.

1. Or if you're using iOS 12. Update to iOS 13 or later to receive calls when you're using your other number.
2. If data roaming is on for the number that uses mobile data then Visual Voicemail and MMS will be disabled on your voice-only number.

iPhone screen showing the phone keypad 

Switch phone numbers for a call

You can switch phone lines before you make a call. If you're calling someone in your Favourites list, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the Info button .
  2. Tap the current phone number. 
  3. Tap your other number. 

If you're using the keypad, follow these steps:

  1. Enter the phone number.
  2. Tap the phone number, near the top of the screen. 
  3. Tap the number that you want to use.

iPhone screen showing a new iMessage  

Send messages with iMessage and SMS/MMS

You can use iMessage or SMS/MMS to send messages with either phone number.* You can switch phone numbers before you send an iMessage or SMS/MMS message. Here's how:

  1. Open Messages.
  2. Tap the New button, in the top right-hand corner of the screen.
  3. Enter your contact's name.
  4. Tap the current phone number.
  5. Tap the number that you want to use.

* Additional fees may apply. Check with your provider.

Find out about Dual SIM status icons

The icons in the status bar at the top of the screen show the signal strength of your two network providers. Find out what the status icons mean.

You can see more status icons when you open Control Centre.

iPhone Control Centre with the status bar displayed 

The status bar shows that the device is connected to Wi-Fi and Network Provider 2 is using Wi-Fi Calling.

iPhone Control Centre with the status bar displayed 

The status bar shows that Network Provider 1 is using LTE, and Network Provider 2 is using the mobile data of Network Provider 1.

Change your mobile data number

One number at a time can use mobile data. To change which number uses mobile data, follow these steps:

iPhone screen showing the Mobile Data settings 

  1. Go to Settings > Cellular, or Settings > Mobile Data.
  2. Tap Cellular. 
  3. Tap the number that you want to use mobile data.

If you turn on Allow Mobile Data Switching, then while you're on a voice call on your voice-only number, that number automatically switches to use voice and data.* This lets you use both voice and data while on the call.

If you turn off Allow Mobile Data Switching and you're active on a voice number that isn't your designated mobile data number, then mobile data won't work when you're on the call.

To turn on Allow Mobile Data Switching, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Cellular, or Settings > Mobile Data.
  2. Tap Mobile Data.
  3. Turn on Allow Mobile Data Switching.

* Your data line switches automatically for the duration of your call. This mobile data switching will not work if you are currently using Data Roaming. Check with your provider for availability and to find out if additional fees apply.

About 5G and Dual SIM

While using two active lines in Dual SIM mode, 5G is supported on the line that’s using mobile data. In Hong Kong and Macao, to use 5G with Dual SIM on iPhone 12 models, make sure you have iOS 14.5 or later.

iPhone screen showing the Mobile settings 

Manage mobile settings

To change your mobile settings for each of your plans, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Cellular or Settings > Mobile Data.
  2. Tap the number that you want to change.
  3. Tap each option and set it as you normally would.

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