Samsung is rolling out a new update to Galaxy Z Fold 2 owners in the United States that adds eSIM functionality, and by extension, dual SIM support. While eSIM adoption is still very low in most parts of the world, more phones in the U.S., particularly flagships, now support eSIM. Even cheaper models such as the Pixel 6a and the iPhone SE have eSIM support.
iPhones began shipping with eSIM support starting in 2018 with the iPhone XS and iPhone XR. However, it was not until 2021, starting with the iPhone 13 series, that Apple allowed the use of dual SIM with two eSIMs. So instead of having one physical SIM card and one eSIM, iPhone 13 users can choose to drop the physical SIM card in favor of a second eSIM.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is the latest Samsung flagship to gain eSIM support. Like the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3, the 2020 foldable smartphone launched with the required hardware to support eSIM technology but the feature wasn’t available out of the box. Now some Galaxy Z Fold 2 users have reported that they have received a new update that activates the feature, and it is arriving for both the unlocked and carrier variants of the phone. The update is bundled with the June security patch that was released in the second week of July.
By activating eSIM on the Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung has also opened up support for Dual SIM Dual Standby. Since owners already have a physical SIM card inside their device, they can add a second number for use via the eSIM. The second number can be from the same carrier or from another carrier that supports eSIM services. Interestingly, the Galaxy W21 5G, which is the Chinese version of the Galaxy Z Fold 2, launched with dual SIM support (via two physical SIM cards).
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It is not clear why Samsung took so long to enable eSIM support considering the Galaxy Z Fold 2 was released nearly two years ago. Just last month, it rolled out a similar update to the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 almost after a year since they launched. Nevertheless, it looks like the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4 come with the feature activated right out of the box.
There is a chance that the update has not yet reached all Fold 2 units considering that updates are usually rolled out in batches. That said, when the update does arrive, Samsung will also enable new camera functions in addition to the eSIM and dual SIM support, as stated in the official changelog.