The iPhone eSIM is supposed to be a simple way to activate your Apple device, but a newly discovered bug is giving iPhone users headaches. According to a number of reports, the iPhone’s eSIM is triggering FaceTime and iMessage disables with no known solution other than switching SIMs.
The issue first came to light when well-known Apple leaker Mark Gurman tweeted about it. As he describes, FaceTime and iMessage were disabled on his T-Mobile iPhone and attempts to reactivate them were unsuccessful. After speaking with a T-Mobile representative, the only solution was to change the eSIM to a physical nano-SIM card.
Several people responded to his message with similar accounts, including users from other US carriers and in different countries. One user said that he has “exactly the same problem” with Vodaphone in the UK. Another user reported the same issue with Airtel in India.
The common denominators of the problem seem to be iPhone 13 and iOS 15.4. In most cases, changing the eSIM to a physical SIM fixed the issue. Apple support doesn’t seem to be able to fix the issue on their end, so if you experience it, the best thing to do is contact your carrier for help.
Apple is reportedly aware of the issue and is working on a fix. iOS 15.5 doesn’t appear to have fixed the issue, and it’s unclear if the iOS 15.6 beta that just arrived this week contains a fix.