Carrier Apple SIM ... does it get locked to a carrier?

ronm99

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 13, 2012
280
28
I am waiting to pre-order an iPad pro, and I am contemplating whether or not to get a cellular model.

One argument in favor of the cellular model is the Apple SIM card. It would be convenient to be able to change carriers without swapping SIM cards.

When the Apple SIM card first came out, I seem to remember that T-Mobile would not "lock" the SIM, while AT&T would lock it if you activated it on their network.

Is this still true? If so, it really defeats the purpose of having a non-carrier SIM card.
 

rmhop81

macrumors 68020
Apr 4, 2005
2,243
90
Dallas, TX
I am waiting to pre-order an iPad pro, and I am contemplating whether or not to get a cellular model.

One argument in favor of the cellular model is the Apple SIM card. It would be convenient to be able to change carriers without swapping SIM cards.

When the Apple SIM card first came out, I seem to remember that T-Mobile would not "lock" the SIM, while AT&T would lock it if you activated it on their network.

Is this still true? If so, it really defeats the purpose of having a non-carrier SIM card.
it's supposed to be convenient when you first buy the product as can be used on any carrier. but if you change your mind, you have to get a new sim card. pretty dumb IMO.


"Alternate data plans and dedicated Apple SIMs

Cellular data plans and restrictions vary by carrier. In some countries, you can choose a domestic plan from a participating carrier, and if you need to, choose an alternate plan from a different carrier. Some countries might restrict local residents form signing up for cellular data plans. Check with your carrier for details.

When you activate a cellular data plan with certain carriers, your Apple SIM might be dedicated to that carrier's network. A dedicated SIM means you can't activate it on another carrier's network. For example, if you activate an AT&T plan on your iPad, your Apple SIM will be dedicated to AT&T's network. Your iPad remains unlocked, so you can buy another Apple SIM or use a standard carrier nano-SIM to change networks."

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203099
 

engineerben

macrumors regular
Jul 2, 2010
140
78
Greenville Tx
I don't quite get the Apple SIM either. In my experience, if you bring an unlocked device into a carrier's store, they'll happily give you a SIM so you can use the device on their network. Now, if you could just call 'em up and say "switch me over, here's my SIM number", well, so much the better, but that doesn't seem to be how (at least) AT&T has it worked out.
 

mconk

macrumors 6502
Mar 10, 2009
371
67
Virginia
I don't quite get the Apple SIM either. In my experience, if you bring an unlocked device into a carrier's store, they'll happily give you a SIM so you can use the device on their network. Now, if you could just call 'em up and say "switch me over, here's my SIM number", well, so much the better, but that doesn't seem to be how (at least) AT&T has it worked out.
The idea behind Apple SIM is having only one SIM card, with the ability to change carriers at will, without having to ever set foot into a carrier store or Apple Store to get a new SIM card. Unfortunately, some of the carriers (AT&T for example) have decided to lock the SIM once activated on their network. I believe Verizon is doing this as well. So in short, they don't like the idea of a universal SIM card. Apple was going for a convenience factor - of course the carriers don't like this. T-Mobile and Sprint will not lock an Apple SIM to their networks, so in a sense you are still free to change carriers at will. That's the idea