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As of October 1, Apple SIM is no longer available for activating new cellular data plans on supported iPad models, according to an Apple support document.

Apple-SIM-Card.jpeg

Introduced in 2014, the Apple SIM was designed to allow iPad users to activate cellular data plans from multiple carriers around the world. Initially, the Apple SIM was a physical nano-SIM card, but it was embedded inside later iPad Pro models. Apple SIM was similar to modern eSIM technology, but with more limited carrier support.

A physical Apple SIM card was included with the following cellular iPad models:
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad mini 3
  • iPad mini 4
  • First-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro
  • iPad 5
  • iPad 6
An embedded Apple SIM was included with the following cellular iPad models:
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro
  • Second-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro
All of the iPad models listed above still have a physical SIM card tray. Apple's support document advises customers to contact their carrier for details on how to activate a cellular data plan on these iPad models going forward.

All models of the iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad mini, and iPad released since October 2018 support standard eSIM technology without the need for an Apple SIM.

Image Credit: Le journal du lapin

Article Link: Apple SIM No Longer Available for Activating New Cellular Data Plans on iPads
 
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Joe Rossignol

Senior News Reporter
Staff member
May 12, 2012
797
2,705
Canada
Apple SIM? I've never even heard of this.
Was introduced in 2014 as a physical nano-SIM card that worked with multiple carriers. It was later embedded inside some 2016-2017 iPad Pro models.

It was basically eSIM before the actual eSIM standard emerged (which is supported by all cellular iPad models released since October 2018, which has made the Apple SIM redundant.)
 
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ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
9,419
5,769
In a span of 48 months we went from Apple was selling these sims to Apple doesn't support them.

What exactly do you get in exchange for the Apple Tax? It doesn't appear to be support or longevity. It's certainly not stability or security.
 

mystery hill

macrumors 6502a
Apr 2, 2021
530
1,363
Maybe they will simplify the product line where all iPads are Wi-Fi and Cellular (eSim). Doesn’t cost Apple $100 to add cellular and would simplify the production line.
They could have included cellular functionality with all Apple Watch Series 8 models. That would allow Emergency SOS without a phone for all Apple Watch users.
 
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Keness

macrumors member
Mar 14, 2003
98
365
In a span of 48 months we went from Apple was selling these sims to Apple doesn't support them.

What exactly do you get in exchange for the Apple Tax? It doesn't appear to be support or longevity. It's certainly not stability or security.
4 YEARS is a long time. Besides, it isn't like they are deactivating all devices which use the physical Apple SIM, nothing's changing there. Everyone's devices will continue working with their already activated Apple SIM completely unchanged. AND, anyone can still switch their network to any other it is compatible with, they just need to get a SIM from their carrier. (As in, the same way it has always been for other physical SIM devices.)

So, there's really no reason for the Apple bashing in this case, unless that's just what you want to do and the reason doesn't really matter.
 

CarAnalogy

macrumors 65816
Jun 9, 2021
1,183
2,021
4 YEARS is a long time. Besides, it isn't like they are deactivating all devices which use the physical Apple SIM, nothing's changing there. Everyone's devices will continue working with their already activated Apple SIM completely unchanged. AND, anyone can still switch their network to any other it is compatible with, they just need to get a SIM from their carrier. (As in, the same way it has always been for other physical SIM devices.)

So, there's really no reason for the Apple bashing in this case, unless that's just what you want to do and the reason doesn't really matter.

Ha yeah exactly. Actually reading the article, it seems almost no one actually needed one of these anyway.
 
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GMShadow

macrumors 6502a
Jun 8, 2021
836
3,080
In a span of 48 months we went from Apple was selling these sims to Apple doesn't support them.

What exactly do you get in exchange for the Apple Tax? It doesn't appear to be support or longevity. It's certainly not stability or security.
Oh no, someone will just have to insert a carrier SIM if they want to activate one of these cellular iPads going forward. The horror.
 

BobSc

macrumors 6502
Mar 29, 2020
332
612
So SIMs are a thing of the past, but lightning over USB C makes sense Apple?
Ummm. Hmmmm. As I look at all the sides of my iPad Pro and iPad Mini, I simply can't find the lightning ports. Something must be wrong here. Is this another magic trick from apple to fool Mr. mrsebin? No, not at all. There are no lightning ports on my ipads. They are USB C. Must send a picture of this to Mr. mrsebin.
So, there's really no reason for the Apple bashing in this case, unless that's just what you want to do and the reason doesn't really matter.
Bingo. Yes indeed. The number of people that come here just to bash Apple increases on a daily basis. This is their life. Hating Apple. How sad.
 

visualseed

macrumors 6502a
Dec 16, 2020
683
1,253
Maybe they will simplify the product line where all iPads are Wi-Fi and Cellular (eSim). Doesn’t cost Apple $100 to add cellular and would simplify the production line.
I don't think it's $100 more, but Qualcomm and others have to get their cut on Apple's cellular products and I suspect it has kept modems out of base model watches, iPads and all MacBooks.

I think they pay $30 for the modem hardware plus $7.50 to $12 in royalties fees to Qualcomm per device. This was negotiated down from the $12 - $20 per device royalties Qualcomm originally wanted. And that's just Qualcomm. They also have to pay about $8 in fees per modem to Nokia. Even Huawei has their hands out for $2.50 a phone. The total cost may not be $100 to add a modem, but it is probably north of $70 when all the license fees and hardware gets tallied.
 
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CWallace

macrumors G4
Aug 17, 2007
10,853
8,633
Seattle, WA
In preparation of eSIM-only iPads launching this month?

eSIM has been standard on all iPad models released from October 2018 onward per the article:
All models of the iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad mini, and iPad released since October 2018 support standard eSIM technology without the need for an Apple SIM.

So only people with pre-October 2018 iPads with cellular support are affected by this decision.
 

5H3PH3RD

macrumors regular
Nov 3, 2011
240
105
I don't think it's $100 more, but Qualcomm and others have to get their cut on Apple's cellular products and I suspect it has kept modems out of base model watches, iPads and all MacBooks.

I think they pay $30 for the modem hardware plus $7.50 to $12 in royalties fees to Qualcomm per device. This was negotiated down from the $12 - $20 per device royalties Qualcomm originally wanted. And that's just Qualcomm. They also have to pay about $8 in fees per modem to Nokia. Even Huawei has their hands out for $2.50 a phone. The total cost may not be $100 to add a modem, but it is probably north of $70 when all the license fees and hardware gets tallied.
Apple were in the midst of making their own 5G chip.
 

Killbynumbers

macrumors 6502
May 29, 2019
446
367
Apple didn't even train their own support people to know what an Apple sim was. I tried to get them to send me a replacement Apple sim and they had no clue what I was talking about. I think this was like 3 years ago.
 
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