Carrier AT&T Prepaid SIM in Verizon iPad Air

Discussion in 'iPad' started by PLin, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. PLin macrumors 6502

    Oct 9, 2003
    I think you can put a pre-activated AT&T SIM in a Verizon iPad Air and get service, since the Verizon iPad Air is unlocked, but does anyone know if you can put an AT&T prepaid SIM in the Verizon iPad and purchase prepaid service using the Cellular menu in Settings? I've tried this in a Verizon iPad 3 with no success, since the IMEI number is not in AT&T's database.
  2. cschmelz macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2007
    Pretty sure you can. There is only 1 version of the cellular Air (in each capacity). The Apple Store I bought my 128gb ATT modem from RAN OUT of ATT models, so they sold me a Sprint model, swapped in an ATT SIM and we had it up and running in less than 5 minutes.

    Assume it works for all the other carriers too since there is only a single variant of the LTE modem/radios
  3. Jades macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2012
    You can. I'm doing it now and I've activated someone else's verizon ipad air on AT&T service
  4. PLin thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 9, 2003
    Was the AT&T SIM for postpaid service or already activated, or did you swap in an AT&T SIM and access the AT&T prepaid options in the Carrier settings?
  5. screensaver400 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 28, 2005
    There is a single hardware model, but Sprint and Verizon maintain a database of "approved" MEIDs. You can get Verizon to activate a SIM card directly with a postpaid plan, but I've not found a way to get the prepaid Verizon plans on my Sprint iPad Air, even with an unactivated Verizon SIM card.

    However, I put in a new T-Mobile SIM into my Sprint iPad, and it worked just as if it was a T-Mobile iPad. The prepaid data options appeared in Settings-Cellular Data-View Account and everything. I would imagine it's the same with AT&T.

    Bottom line: Buy either a Verizon or Sprint iPad, based on your own preference. Assuming AT&T works how T-Mobile does on a Verizon/Sprint model, there's no reason to cut yourself out of access to one of the CDMA carriers.
  6. PLin thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 9, 2003
    I actually need one iPad that I plan to use with AT&T MobileShare and another iPad for a family member who plans to use T-Mobile's free 200MB plan.

    I guess I'll just buy 2 Verizon iPads for ultimate flexibility then. The CDMA iPads do seem like the best choice even for resale value later since they will work with 3 out of the 4 major US carriers.
  7. screensaver400 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 28, 2005
    Note that with a Sprint iPad, you can also sign up for a Verizon postpaid account (like Share Everything) by asking them to activate the SIM directly and just acting confused when the iPad's MEID isn't in their database. However, it does not seem to be possible to get Sprint to act similarly.
  8. cschmelz macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2007
    Swapped it in, transferred my existing account to the new sim. I think the verbage used was "Transfer my account to a new sim"
  9. N54TT macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2013
    Picked up a Verizon iPad Air today and put in an unactivated SIM into it. It would would say "No Service" on the top left and I was not able to connect to activate the account. However once I connected to wifi and internet connection, I was then able to go through the steps to activate the account. After I set up the account, entered all the information and paid....only then did the iPad connected to ATT's towers...LTE and 3G.

    What's interesting is that with the Verizon SIM inserted I don't have to connect to picks up verizon signal right off the bat. The same was true, from what I remember, with my ATT iPad2.

    SO in summary....Verizon air is not locked and will work on ATT LTE....but at least in my case, I had to have an internet connection in the first place to set up an account with the unactivated ATT SIM.
  10. AppleScruff1 macrumors G3


    Feb 10, 2011
    I found out the same thing using a Verizon iPad air with an AT&T SIM. I had to connect with wifi for the AT&T account activation screen to show up. With the T-Mobile SIM, it said to turn off wifi to set up an account although it picked up the T-Mobile network just by inserting the SIM, same as Verizon.

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