Carrier Apple SIM - more information

Discussion in 'iPad' started by MTShipp, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. MTShipp macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    #1
    So, after spending a while on chat with Apple support today, it appears there are more details to Apple SIM that, at least I and my support agent, were not aware of.

    Specifically, everyone knows (or should) that if you select AT&T with Apple SIM you effectively become locked to them and unable to switch carriers.

    But, now it also seems that if you select one of the other carriers (Sprint or T-Mobile) you get locked OUT of AT&T. AT&T will no longer be an option once you've chosen another carrier.

    I learned first hand and while chatting with Apple support, my agent too discovered this after talking with AT&T himself.

    So, lesson learned.....

    Anyone with a same or different experience?
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    There's a few threads stating that ATT is basically doing what you posted. Buying there's locks you out, and buying another won't work on ATT for some reason.

    I have an rMini and just moved on to ATT's network, I wonder if I'll have issues. Since this is a prior generation model, I don't think I will. It will be money out of their pocket if they do.
     
  3. donnaw macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Location:
    Austin TX
    #3
    I'm confused. Why would you have issues with the new Apple sim on your mini? If you moved to ATT you should have an ATT sim anyway.
     
  4. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #4
    The only real issue you'll have is that you'll need to get a new SIM to switch networks. Not sure if Apple Stores sell/give out fresh Apple SIMs, but you'll likely have to get a SIM from the carrier.

    But in any case, it's the SIM that gets locked, not the iPad itself.
     
  5. Rigby macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #5
    Well, that only makes sense if you think about it. Since AT&T would lock the SIM to AT&T only, you would lose access to the plans you have activated on the other carriers. To prevent that from happening, Apple removes the AT&T option once you select one of the other carriers.

    One thing that didn't get a lot of coverage is the fact that an Apple SIM will also be locked if you buy the iPad from a carrier store. E.g. if you buy from T-Mobile, the iPad comes with an Apple SIM, but it will be locked to T-Mobile only.
     
  6. donnaw macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Location:
    Austin TX
    #6
    I guess we now know why this wasn't mentioned during the keynote. Not quite ready for prime time. Maybe eventually.
     
  7. MTShipp thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    #7
    Yup. I just returned from my local Apple Store where a very nice person gave me one for free. They indeed have a $4.99 price tag but after explaining my story, and showing him that I was not locked INTO AT&T but OUT of it, he gave it to me for no cost.
     
  8. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #8
    That's good to know. Even at $4.99, that's better than the $10 price tag most carriers place on their SIMs (unless you can find a free/99cent promotion code now and then).
     
  9. uwdude macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    #9
    So basically the Apple sim is just a blank sim, and they're letting each carrier turn it into their own. And Verizon decided they prefer to sell their own instead of having to "flash" the sim or whatever it would be called. I guess it probably eliminates SKU's that way, easier for inventory and things like that. I bet the carriers don't really like it though, because it makes it harder for them to have exclusivity on devices, were this kind of thing to roll out to other non-Apple devices with manufacturer sims, like a Samsung sim for all the Galaxy devices.
     
  10. donnaw macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Location:
    Austin TX
    #10
    You're right in that the carriers don't like it but try seem to have found a way to ensure exclusivity anyway. As it stands now Apple might just as well shipped without any sim at all.

    But I suppose it saved some people one trip to get a sim.
     
  11. screensaver400 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    #11
    The difference is, AT&T is the only carrier which locks the Apple SIM.

    Apple probably convinced T-Mobile and Sprint to get on board fairly easily, but they wanted at least one of the two larger carriers as well. Verizon said "no way," and AT&T said "Oh, Verizon isn't doing it? You need us more than we need you. Either let us lock the SIM, or your iPad will only support the two lesser carriers out of the box."

    Apple went along with it, hoping that eventually consumers will demand Verizon and AT&T support the Apple SIM the way T-Mobile and Sprint do.

    (And, frankly, the bigger reason for Apple to sell Apple SIM models in their own retail stores is to reduce the number of unique SKUs. They now only carry 18---while adding a color---thanks to only carrying a single cellular model. Otherwise, they would have had to stock 30 different models.)
     
  12. jaybar macrumors 6502a

    jaybar

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    #12
    I don't understand the fuss. I took my new iPad Air 2 to my local Verizon store they switched the SIM. No charge. If I ever wanted to switch carriers and they wanted my business bad enough, I assume they would provide a SIM. EVEN if they did not, if I were willing to spend $729 for a tablet, why would I balk about $5 or $10 for a SIM? That's like spending $2500-$3500 for the new iMac and then bitching about spending a small sum on software. Life should be about making things easier for oneself and removing stress and not sweating the small stuff, rather then spending time complaining. Then again this is MacRumors.

    Jay
     
  13. DoofenshmirtzEI macrumors 6502a

    DoofenshmirtzEI

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    #13
    It's not the $5. It's the insistence on making things harder for the customer with zero benefit to the customer for that difficulty. If I am traveling, the last thing I want to do is take up valuable vacation time finding a store to get a new SIM at. Apple is trying to "make things easier and removing stress" and the carriers are being total jerks about going along with that.
     
  14. Angler macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2011
    #14
    All I did was go to the ATT store and they put the SIM card in. Took all of 3 minutes. No carrier is going to charge you for their sim if you are switching to them. Not understanding what the big deal is?
     
  15. mikepolinske macrumors newbie

    mikepolinske

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #15
    iPad Air 2 on Sprint

    I bought my iPad Air 2 at an Apple retail store and tried to activate it on Sprint, but the system didn't recognize the SIM card number. I got on a chat session with a Sprint rep and he said the SIM card number should be all numeric, mine had letters in it.

    I took the iPad to a corporate Sprint store and they weren't able to do anything for me since they didn't have any SIM cards so they gave me a phone number to call to get a new SIM card.

    Hopefully the SIM card will come today and I'll be able to activate my iPad Air 2.
     
  16. screensaver400 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    #16
    Sounds like you may have been trying to add it to a Sprint postpaid account. I don't think you can use the included Apple SIM that way. Apple SIM will let you activate prepaid data on the device itself, in the Settings app. You'll probably need a Sprint-specific SIM to add it to a postpaid account.
     
  17. Rigby macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #17
    You shouldn't need to deal with the SIM number at all (BTW, the number printed on the Apple SIM is *not* the ICCID like it usually is on other SIMs).

    In the iPad settings, go to Cellular Data/Data Plan/Add a New Plan. After selecting Sprint, you have a choice to add the plan to a new or existing Sprint account, or to get a one-time pass.
     
  18. MTShipp, Oct 28, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014

    MTShipp thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    #18
    I disagree. As I experienced, not only do you get locked into AT&T, if you choose a different carrier (TM in my case), you get locked out of AT&T too.

    I have great AT&T coverage and have had it previously on all of my devices. I wanted to try TM since it was cheaper. It did not have near the coverage I needed so I tried to switch to AT&T but could not. Only Sprint and TM were available once I chose something other than AT&T. I had to get a new Apple SIM to get AT&T available again.
     
  19. jk73 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    #19
    This was explained above. If it didn't work this way, people would get locked out of their non-AT&T account(s) the first time they switched over from a non-AT&T account to AT&T.
     

Share This Page