All iPads Are AT&T Next iPads locked?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by bniu, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. bniu macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2010
    I was at the AT&T store today and figured if I was going to buy an iPad air, why not get an interest free loan from AT&T with the NEXT program and pay it off month by month instead of emptying out my bank account now?

    However, the salesman did seem convinced that an AT&T sold iPad under the NEXT program would be sim locked. I know iPhones are locked, but I thought iPads were always unlocked. Is this true or is this salesman just blowing lots of hot air?
  2. Tork macrumors regular


    Oct 14, 2006
    100% certain it's unlocked from a technical perspective (i.e., it'll run on T-Mo and VZ out of the box with a proper SIM installed, though Sprint requires iPads to be registered with them prior to sale to be recognized on their network so it won't work with them). The NEXT program requires you to have active ATT service while paying it off though, I believe -- kind of a pseudo-contract. But it's definitely SIM unlocked. Enjoy your new Air!
  3. ciaran00 macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2010
    ATT Next requires you to buy $10/month data service for your iPad. Having it unlocked won't provide any advantages for you in the US.

    In any case, it is unlocked.
  4. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    At this point in time, I can't think of a way for AT&T to lock the iPad. As far as I'm aware, all cellular iPads going to the US ship factory unlocked from Apple. For AT&T to be able to lock iPads to their networks, they'd need to open up the boxes and use a tool from Apple to lock individual iPads (if Apple even provides them a tool for locking iPads in the first place). Way too much effort when the subscriber is forced to pay either $10/month for the length of the contract or ETF regardless of whether the iPad is locked or unlocked.

    iPhones are locked because most of the iPhones purchased in the US are on subsidy so they ship locked from Apple's factory.

    It's helpful if you're traveling in an area with poor AT&T coverage. Just pop in a SIM from a carrier with better coverage in the area and sign up for a data pass for the day/week/month and you're set.

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