Metro by T-Mobile recently launched eSim support in July for online or customer service activation only. Another major MVNO responded with a quiet eSim launch of their own this week. As of August 25, Cricket Wireless now supports eSim activation to select iPhones both in stores and via customer care. This makes Cricket the first of the major prepaid retailers to offer in-store eSim support. Cricket is offering eSim activations with every iPhone purchase in retail locations and with BYOD unlocked iPhones. There is no support for Androids at this time but is expected in the future for select devices. Supported devices include:
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XR
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone SE 2020
- iPhone 11 series
- iPhone 12 series
- iPhone 13 series
- iPhone SE 2022
While Cricket has yet to issue any formal announcement, a simple search on the Cricket website details the advantages of eSim technology and the steps for eSim activation. The website advises customers to call customer service or go to a retail store to complete the activation process.
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One question that has yet to be answered is what does this mean for retail store employees? Will the inclusion of eSim support eventually lead to fewer customers coming to brick-and-mortar locations for purchases? The answer is not likely. Many customers still prefer personal service by a trained professional in case of any issues with the porting or activation process.
According to a few Cricket authorized retail employees, there are bugs in the system. Retail store employees in multiple locations are reporting a variety of issues including failure to download the eSim to new purchases, and even damages to the onboard firmware with BYOD activations.
Cricket has taken a giant step forward by allowing eSim activation at the retail level, putting more control in the hands of its customers while opening the doors for growth with eSim activation via customer support and allowing it at the store level gives customers a second option for those that prefer a more personal experience. Looking forward to 2023 the level of competition between the major prepaid MVNOs may lead to a new level of empowerment for consumers.