iPad Are all Cellular iPad Airs the same and interchangeable between networks?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by bbotte, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. bbotte macrumors 65816

    bbotte

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    #1
    So if I were to order a "sprint" Air 16 GB from Target since I got my $200 from target today, I just take it to AT&T and get a sim from them for data on the $25 1GB deal? Since verizon/AT&T are sold out? So all cellular iPads are exactly the same except for what stupid sim cad comes in it? Just replace it?
     
  2. herdnerfer macrumors 6502

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  3. bbotte thread starter macrumors 65816

    bbotte

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    #3
    What else might be different?
     
  4. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

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    Apr 6, 2007
    #4
    Nothing, actually. In the case of the iPad air, currently all models have the same hardware and support all the same LTE bands.

    I for one bought a Verizon iPad air, and right now it's running with a T-Mobile SIM.
     
  5. benji888 macrumors 65816

    benji888

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    #5
  6. NovemberWhiskey macrumors 68030

    NovemberWhiskey

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    #6
    All except for sprint. Google for the article.
     
  7. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #7
    The above link on apple's own page says otherwise.
     
  8. screensaver400 macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Sprint refuses to activate non-Sprint iPads, even though all iPads Air have identical hardware. Verizon also refuses to activate non-Verizon iPads, but some have reported success in getting them to activate postpaid service on a SIM directly (the only way to get a Verizon SIM is eBay, or a Verizon store acting outside of their policy).

    Bottom line: choose which one of the CDMA carriers you prefer. You can then use that iPad on T-Mobile or AT&T.
     
  9. bbotte thread starter macrumors 65816

    bbotte

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    #9
    I ordered a sprint one today and will not open it, I will then take it to AT&T after it's delivered and see if they will activate it. If not, I'll return it to target. They are all out of stock anyway except the sprint ones.
     
  10. Vertigo1 macrumors regular

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    Oct 5, 2013
    #10
    Jeez, you don't half have a screwed up cellular system in the US!
     
  11. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

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    Oct 25, 2013
    #11
    Yes, we know. The traditionally GSM carriers are pretty okay when it comes to allowing 3rd party devices. It's the CDMA carriers that have yet to catch up. I reckon Apple probably played a big part in moving Sprint and Verizon to the SIM model.
     
  12. DollaTwentyFive macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    It think it's actually LTE requiring a SIM card that moved them to the SIM model. However, I do think Apple (and other companies) desire to not have to produce multiple models of the same device has been a positive influence.
     
  13. Vertigo1 macrumors regular

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    Oct 5, 2013
    #13
    So, on prior models, the CDMA cellular iPad models didn't even have a SIM card tray? Weird!

    Been a while since I was last over there - do you still pay to receive mobile calls?
     
  14. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

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    Oct 25, 2013
    #14
    On the iPad 2, yes, no SIM card slot for Verizon. iPad 3 and above are LTE capable though so they have a SIM card slot.

    Yes, we still get charged for received calls and messages although most plans have moved to unlimited talk/text while charging exorbitantly for data buckets.
     
  15. davedvdy macrumors regular

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    Oct 25, 2011
    #15
    So a Sprint Cellular model will in fact run on Verizon?
    I'm confused cause I heard it won't from a Verizon manager in store.
     
  16. Vertigo1 macrumors regular

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    Oct 5, 2013
    #16
    That's clearer thanks, although having cellular equipment without a SIM card slot is just bizarre to me :)

    No offence but the system you have over there just sounds nuts. The whole concept of paying to receive mobile calls is something that's totally alien to us over here. I didn't realise the data deals over there were poor too though, I was reading an article recently about how much fixed broadband packages cost over there compared with other parts of the world and was genuinely surprised. You'd think the US would have a healthy and competitive market for broadband provision but it seems that's not the case.

    (Found it: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24528383)
     
  17. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

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    Oct 25, 2013
    #17
    Good to know. Not really all that familiar with Verizon's LTE cellphones so I wasn't aware that they had SIM cards.

    ----------

    Theoretically, yes. Official company line is it's not supported so you'll have to jump through some hoops to activate it.
     
  18. Coleman2010 macrumors 68000

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    #18
    All of the iPads are the same model. They are differentiated by which SIM card they're sold with. You can buy a Verizon or Sprint iPad Air and throw in an activated SIM for T-Mobile or AT&T and it will work fine.

    The catch is all Verizon and Sprint models have their IMEI numbers entered in the carrier's database so you can activate the SIM from the iPad. If Sprint or Verizon does not have the IMEI number in their database, they will say this isn't an iPad for our carrier and not activate it. Though it really doesn't matter and the iPad will work just fine on their network.
     
  19. CrAkD macrumors 68040

    CrAkD

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    #19
    If I took my Verizon sim from my Verizon mini and put it in a retina mini or air from tmobile would that work?
     
  20. PhoenixMac macrumors 65816

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    Mar 7, 2010
    #20
    Yes
     
  21. CrAkD macrumors 68040

    CrAkD

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    #21
    Would I be able to activate and deactivate service from the air?
     
  22. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

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    #22
    Probably not.
     
  23. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

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    Apr 6, 2007
    #23
    For the GSM carriers (AT&T, T-Mobile): Yes you can.

    For the CDMA carriers (Sprint, Verizon): You can activate service from the iPad IF it came with that carrier's SIM card to begin with. If not, you will probably have trouble doing it. You should be able to deactivate service from the iPad, once activated.

    You can do this by going to Settings -> Cellular Data -> View account. You might have to turn off Wifi for this to work (so that the iPad is forced to access data via the carrier's network, and activate/deactivate correctly).

    Also: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4572
     
  24. N54TT macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    #24
    I've posted this in the other one lte model thread but here are my findings from personal experience with verizon ipad air.

    Verizon ipad air absolutely works on all of AT&T networks (lte and 3G). It will activate over the air an unactivated verizon sim. It will not activate over the air an unactivated AT&T sim. However, if you connect to wifi you can activate an unactivated AT&T sim. Once the AT&T sim is activated you can manage it over the air, cancel and restart plans and even after the data plan is canceled(account not canceled just the plan).

    I had no problem cutting down my micro sim from my verizon ipad3 and having it work in my verizon ipad air. However, I had problems accessing my account on the iPad. I couldn't sign in to view, add or cancel my plan. It would keep asking me to reprovision my device. Called verizon tech support and ran through all the steps with no results. Told me it was a problem with iPads firmware. Went to apple had it checked out, did a dfu restore myself, nothing. I did a search and seems to be a common problem with verizon...and only solution really seemed like getting a new sim and having the account switched over to a new sim.....which worked for me.
     
  25. bbotte thread starter macrumors 65816

    bbotte

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    Location:
    USA
    #25
    My Sprint iPad Air was activated on AT&T's network, they just gave me a SIM card, put it in and told me to activate it when I got home. $25 1GB of Data for 90 days. No activation fee even.
     

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