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Apple at its "Let Loose" event today announced new iPad Pro and iPad Air models, and there are smaller changes compared to the previous generation devices that did not get mentioned during the event but are worth knowing about.

https-images.macrumors.comarticle-new202112iphone-12-sim-card-slot-yellow.jpg

One of the differences worth noting is the lack of a physical SIM card slot. On the previous generation models, the cellular versions of both the iPad Air and the iPad Pro included a physical SIM card slot. In the new devices, that's no longer the case. All cellular models now support eSIM only.

It's a small but crucial detail for anyone looking to upgrade their iPad while sticking with their current cellular plan. Apple has not divulged the reason why it chose to remove the physical SIM slot, but it could have been a design decision related to making the devices slimmer, or a necessity to keep them slim, given all of the devices' hardware upgrades.

Either way, the change brings parity to Apple's latest iPad models and its iPhone, which dropped the physical SIM slot in 2022 with the launch of the iPhone 14.

Article Link: Apple's New Cellular iPad Air and iPad Pro Models Are eSIM Only
 
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q64ceo

macrumors 6502a
Aug 13, 2010
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I still prefer a physical SIM myself. Pretty easy to pop them out and put them into a new device. I know I probably sound like an old man with my comforting old technology, but there are things which are perfect as they are.
 

jimthing

macrumors 68020
Apr 6, 2011
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I know it’s the future but I absolutely hate this. I work in countries that require contracts to use e-SIM. I do not want to pay for two year contracts when myself/employees are only in country a few weeks at a time. A local sim requires no contract.
Sure, but Apple doing this is likely to force the telecoms carrier industry forward in said countries, as they are in most first world ones with eSim now being more readily available, though still not perfect.
 

jimthing

macrumors 68020
Apr 6, 2011
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Another note... the Pro's 5G option is £$200 (€250 Fr/De/It/Es) more, the Air's 5G option is £$150 (€170 Fr/De/It/Es) more.
Cheeky old Apple!
 
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kerr

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Jul 12, 2010
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Australia

HobeSoundDarryl

macrumors G5
Generally, more expensive 5G providers support eSIM... and the cheap options don't (with select exceptions of course). I wonder if service provider money changes hands behind the scenes... like Google buying its way as the default search engine on Apple tech. Else, think about it: these iPads are plenty big enough for a tiny sim tray slot... and there is significant utility in being able to use local SIM cards while traveling.
 

winxmac

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2021
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It's a bit understandable for the iPhone to go e-SIM although the additional space benefit isn't seen yet but for a device as big as an iPad, why?

Oh, it's because we made it thinner so we can no longer accomodate a physical SIM tray...

It seems that so far, only mainland China is keeping the physical SIM tray...
 

jaytv111

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2007
999
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It's a bit understandable for the iPhone to go e-SIM although the additional space benefit isn't seen yet but for a device as big as an iPad, why?

Oh, it's because we made it thinner so we can no longer accomodate a physical SIM tray...

It seems that so far, only mainland China is keeping the physical SIM tray...
Even the Chinese version has eSIM only.

Simple fact of the matter is they can fit the SIM tray, they just don't want to support physical SIM any more. They want the world to switch to eSIM and including the SIM tray is a crutch that allows providers to never support eSIM. They want to rip the Band-Aid off.

The headphone jack was similar. There's plenty of space for headphone jack in the iPad, like loads of space! They wanted the world to use Bluetooth headphones. Lots of people complain but it appears that people are still buying iPads so it didn't matter.
 
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