- Which SIM size do I need for my iPhone?
- Why choose an iPhone SIM?
- Does my iPhone need to be unlocked to use with an iPhone SIM?
- Apple 0% finance offer
- Will I need a credit check for an iPhone SIM deal?
- Can I tether with an iPhone SIM?
- Will an iPhone SIM work with an Android phone?
- Can I use an eSIM with an iPhone?
- What’s the best iPhone SIM deal?
- Can I get unlimited data with an iPhone SIM?
Which SIM size do I need for my iPhone?
Depending on your iPhone model, the SIM size you will require will vary.
Whichever network you choose, you will receive a standard sized SIM card, which can be cut down to micro and nano SIMs.
The following table shows which SIM card size you will require for your iPhone:
|Model||SIM size||eSIM support|
|iPhone (1st generation)||Standard SIM||No|
|iPhone 3G||Standard SIM||No|
|iPhone 3GS||Standard SIM||No|
|iPhone 4||Micro SIM||No|
|iPhone 4S||Micro SIM||No|
|iPhone 5||Nano SIM||No|
|iPhone 5C||Nano SIM||No|
|iPhone 5S||Nano SIM||No|
|iPhone 6||Nano SIM||No|
|iPhone 6 Plus||Nano SIM||No|
|iPhone 6S||Nano SIM||No|
|iPhone 6S Plus||Nano SIM||No|
|iPhone SE (1st generation)||Nano SIM||No|
|iPhone 7||Nano SIM||No|
|iPhone 7 Plus||Nano SIM||No|
|iPhone 8||Nano SIM||No|
|iPhone 8 Plus||Nano SIM||No|
|iPhone X||Nano SIM||No|
|iPhone XR||Nano SIM||Yes|
|iPhone XS||Nano SIM||Yes|
|iPhone XS Max||Nano SIM||Yes|
|iPhone 11||Nano SIM||Yes|
|iPhone 11 Pro||Nano SIM||Yes|
|iPhone 11 Pro Max||Nano SIM||Yes|
|iPhone SE (2nd generation)||Nano SIM||Yes|
|iPhone 12||Nano SIM||Yes|
|iPhone 12 Mini||Nano SIM||Yes|
|iPhone 12 Pro||Nano SIM||Yes|
|iPhone 12 Pro Max||Nano SIM||Yes|
|iPhone 13||Nano SIM||Yes|
|iPhone 13 Mini||Nano SIM||Yes|
|iPhone 13 Pro||Nano SIM||Yes|
|iPhone 13 Pro Max||Nano SIM||Yes|
|iPhone SE (3rd generation)||Nano SIM||Yes|
Why choose an iPhone SIM?
By choosing an iPhone SIM, you can usually save yourself money compared to taking out an iPhone on contract.
To get the best value for your money, you should take out a contract for a SIM card, and purchase an iPhone SIM free, separately.
This often works out much cheaper in the long run.
If you can’t afford to pay upfront for an iPhone SIM free, don’t worry - Apple regularly have a 0% finance offer for their latest devices, which allows you to spread the cost over 24 months with no interest. By doing this, you will essentially have two ‘contracts’ - one for your iPhone, and one for the SIM.
Does my iPhone need to be unlocked to use with an iPhone SIM?
Yes. However in most cases, your iPhone will already be unlocked, without requiring you to do anything. If your phone is locked, your network will be able to unlock it for free.
If you bought your iPhone SIM free, such as directly from Apple, your iPhone will already be unlocked.
If you purchased your iPhone from a particular network, but you wish to use it with a SIM from a different network, it may be locked.
Ofcom regulations have banned networks from selling locked phones from December 2021 onwards. If you purchased your iPhone after this date, it will be unlocked.
However, if you purchased your iPhone before December 2021, it may be locked, depending on the network you purchased it from.
Before December 2021, the following networks sold all iPhones unlocked, meaning you can use any SIM from any network:
The following networks used to sell their phones locked:
- Tesco Mobile
- iD Mobile (iPhones only)
If your phone is locked, your network will be able to unlock it for free. You’ll need to contact them. They will ask you for your IMEI number, which you can find by dialling *#06# from your iPhone.
Apple 0% finance offer
In partnership with Barclays, Apple offer 0% finance for 24 months with all iPhone models.
Instead of purchasing the latest iPhone 13 SIM free for £779 upfront, you can choose to split the payments for 24 months, which will work out to £32.45 x 24 months.
You can then purchase a separate iPhone SIM contract to pair with your new iPhone.
By doing this, you will essentially have two ‘contracts’ - one for your iPhone, and one for the SIM.
This often works out cheaper compared to purchasing an all-in-one iPhone contract.
Will I need a credit check for an iPhone SIM deal?
If you’re purchasing a long term iPhone SIM deal, such as 12 months or longer, most networks will perform a credit check before accepting you, which will show up on your record. You’re less likely to be accepted if you have a bad credit score.
If you’re purchasing a 1 month iPhone SIM, you won’t be subject to a credit check, since you won’t be taking out a contract. 1 month iPhone SIMs are slightly more expensive than longer term contracts, however they allow for extra flexibility by allowing you to cancel or change plans at any time. In addition, you will be accepted even if you have a poor credit score.
Can I tether with an iPhone SIM?
Yes, all the major networks in the UK allow you to tether to as many devices as you’d like with an iPhone SIM deal.
Any restrictions that apply to normal usage will still apply when tethering. For example, if your network has a fair usage policy, or data caps when roaming, these will still apply when tethering.
You can tether with an iPhone by setting up a Personal Hotspot:
- Go to Settings
- Go to Personal Hotspot
- Enable Allow Others to Join
- Note the password
Once setup, you should see your iPhone available as a Wi-Fi network from other devices nearby, such as a laptop or tablet.
Will an iPhone SIM work with an Android phone?
Yes, all iPhone SIMs will work with Android phones, provided both devices accept the same SIM card size.
If the Android phone accepts a larger SIM card size, you will need to purchase a SIM card adapter, which costs less than £2 on Amazon or eBay. These will be able to convert a nano SIM to a micro SIM, or a nano or micro SIM to a standard size SIM.
On the other hand, if the Android phone requires a smaller size SIM, there should be cutouts around the SIM card to convert it to a micro or nano SIM.
Alternatively, you can contact your network for replacement SIMs in different sizes.
Can I use an eSIM with an iPhone?
Yes, as long as you have an iPhone XR or later, and your network supports eSIM technology.
eSIMs are currently only supported with particular plans from EE, O2 and Vodafone. Three and Virgin Mobile have plans to launch eSIM plans in 2022/2023.
What’s the best iPhone SIM deal?
The best iPhone SIM deal for you depends on how much data you usually consume, how important free EU roaming is to you, and for how long you want to be tied to a contract.
Generally, the cheapest networks for iPhone SIMs are Asda Mobile, Lebara, Talkmobile, SMARTY and iD Mobile.
If you’re travelling abroad, you’ll want to choose a network that will allow you to use your allowance when outside the UK. See our guide on roaming for the networks with the best roaming offers.
You’ll also need to work out how much data you need per month, from 1GB to unlimited.
Can I get unlimited data with an iPhone SIM?
Unlimited data SIMs for iPhones are available on 1 month, 12 month and 24 month contracts.
Although there will be no restrictions on the amount of data you can use, you’ll still need to abide by any fair usage policies. Furthermore, there may be caps when roaming in the EU and abroad.
See Unlimited data SIM only deals for the best offers.
How can I get an iPhone SIM deal?
Do I need a contract to get an iPhone SIM?
No, if you don’t want to get a contract, you can get a 1 month / 30 day iPhone SIM. These are ideal for those who don’t want to be tied down to a long term contract, or for those with low/bad credit scores.
What’s the difference between an iPhone SIM and a normal SIM?
As of 2022, there is no difference. Previously, some networks used to charge a premium for SIMs with iPhones, however this is no longer the case.