The transfer process from an existing iPhone is actually relatively straightforward, just as long as you’re running iOS 16.0.1, which fixes an activation error Apple conceded some users were encountering. When it’s working as it should — as we found in our own iPhone 14 review — it takes just a couple of minutes to transfer an account from one iPhone to the other, regardless of whether you’re moving from a physical SIM card or an eSIM.

Problem is, the rest of the iPhone setup process just isn’t as quick, if you’re restoring your new iPhone 14 from a backup. Whether wired — from a Mac or PC — or via iCloud, that process can take a long time as photos, videos, apps, and other data are restored. Since iOS 16 prompts you to transfer your eSIM before that point, it means your cellphone number and data connection are effectively trapped on the new iPhone as it slowly restores.

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