Lost iPhone, trying to restore new phone from iCloud

I’m trying to assist a friend.

He dropped his iPhone to the bottom of the sea. We’re in Mexico, he’s from Sweden. He bought a new iPhone, but doesn’t have a SIM card from his Swedish phone service provider. He’s trying to restore his data to the phone from iCloud, but is apparently running up against the issue of Apple needing to send a SMS message to confirm his identity/phone/account…but he can’t receive the message because his phone doesn’t have a SIM with that phone number anymore.

It seems like this issue isn’t new. What can I suggest he do?

I believe that there is a way to contact Apple but there is a waiting period. Probably the best idea is to contact his carrier and see if there is a way to get an eSIM that he can install in the phone with the same number.

Then tell him to go into security settings for his Apple ID and set at least one extra of the following:

  • a trusted recovery contact

  • a recovery key

  • set up something like a Google Voice account and use the number as another phone number.