I had never used an eSIM before setting up the phone. If I can, I put my personal physical sim card into the phone I review rather than using the manufacturer's sim card. When I finish testing the next phone that I am testing, my sim comes out, and I get to use my own phone for the first time. It is a system that works well, but after looking at the iPhone 14, it is no longer possible. The chaos of a digital-only lifestyle is what I embraced when I set up the Apple phone. I would have liked to have not.

The version of the phone that is sold in the US does not have a sim tray. I would need to use eSIM if I wanted to get my personal number on the new phone. According to Apple, eSIM is good. It makes things easier to understand. If you are moving your phone number from one phone to another, that is true. I like the process more than fiddling with a small card tray.

The initial setup shows you how to convert a physical sim to an eSIM. I didn't have to go to the store. It was done on the phone. It is even simpler if you already use eSIM in your old phone. You can do it in a couple of minutes by following the instructions on the screen.

iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max on a backdrop of colorful bouncy balls.
Switching between iPhones with eSIM is a piece of cake. Switching from iOS to Android gets complicated.

If you switch from one phone to another, it gets worse. Your carrier needs to be involved here. When I was ready to switch from the iPhone to the Pixel 7 Pro, I consulted the eSIM support page from the carrier. Instructions are given to call customer service and not use chat. The customer service representative began the process while I was on the phone with him.

This was an obvious mistake but I was following instructions. When you transfer your phone number to a new one, your old phone will stop working. I waited for a few minutes to see if I would get service on the phone, but it didn't happen.

When I began, I had one phone with cellular service and one without, but now I have two phones without service. I've never felt dumber. I used a landline phone to call customer service back when I was at The Verge, since I was at the office at the time.

I used two phones without service instead of one.

I thought I had learned my lesson when I switched to the new phone. I tried to complete the transfer using the app on both phones. I thought it would be simpler to switch to a different phone. That wasn't it. An error popped up when I tried to start the transfer through the app, but it couldn't complete the online process. No matter how I tried, the same error would pop up. I once again called customer service to change devices.

I spoke to a service rep who was on her toes and sent me a code to complete the setup on my own. In a few minutes, I had service up and running on the new phone.

George Koroneos, a company spokesman, told me that a self-service feature is coming to the MyVerizon app in early 2023 to help customers switch to eSim. I am going about this the correct way by calling customer service to have the eSIM provisioned remotely and then using an email to complete the setup. If you call from the line you want to switch to, you will lose the connection halfway through the call.

My personal hell is this one.

I can't say I like eSIM. Most people don't switch their phones every week, and they don't switch between the two operating systems frequently. My personal hell is this one. Most people who can't avoid jumping to eSIM should stick with a physical card. Carriers will have to provide better support for people who switch to Apple if there is a silver lining. I might ask for my physical sim card back when I'm done with this.