All iPads AT&T service on a VZW iPad Air? Which one to buy for max flexibility? Locked?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by eekcat, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. eekcat macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2010
    I'm looking to pick up a couple of iPad Airs and Minis for work, and was wondering if anybody knows whether the Verizon model will be the most flexible, like it is for the iPhone 5S?

    In other words, we purchased Verizon 5S's, even to use with AT&T service, since they're unlocked for LTE. Would it be the same case with Verizon iPads? :confused: This way we could just purchase one model-type and use it for any carrier... In other words, is there any reason to get an AT&T model?
  2. Corey Gibson macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2013
    Morrisville NC
    If I am understanding you correctly, you want to use an Ipad made to work with Verizon with a different carrier, AT&T. I am also assuming you mean you're going to be purchasing the cellular models and not the Wi-Fi only models.

    If that is the case, to my latest understanding, unless you jail break the iPads, you won't be able to use them with different carriers. In addition, I don't believe that you can use an Ipad that came from Verizon with AT&T service because of the differences in Technology (CDMA versus GSM).

    Now.... that might have changed since my days long ago in the Wireless industry so please don't hold me as being correct. In addition, I haven't really jailbroken a device in quite some time (1st generation iphone was my first and I believe last time I jailbroke a device).

    Hopefully someone else with a bit more recent knowledge can get you straight, but at least that's something to get you started.
  3. protoxx macrumors 6502a


    Oct 10, 2013
    To date no iPads have been locked. Now if that changes for the next release then.....

    Except for the Verizion iPad2 all the cellular iPads have been able to connect to other gsm providers. T-Mobile in their press conference yesterday said that any of the cellular iPads except the Ipad2/Verizion version would work on their network.

    So far changing the sim and modifying the setting has been all that is necessary to get it working on another carrier. Now whether all the same frequencies are supported by each particular variant is another story entirely.
  4. French macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2011
    If you look at the comparison page I believe the new iPads will have ONE chip that has all necessary bands to support T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, etc. I actually started a thread on this yesterday. So you may buy it with an AT&T SIM in it, but you should be able to swap the SIM out with another carrier's SIM and it will work.
  5. Corey Gibson macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2013
    Morrisville NC
    I knew I was a little outdated. Thanks for clarifying! :)
  6. nostresshere macrumors 68030

    Dec 30, 2010
    As you said, this information is way out of date. I know you were trying to help, but...

    There are at least a half dozen threads active since Tuesday talking about this issue. Not sure why people keep starting new ones.
  7. rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009
    You could buy any iPad Air cellular and take it to any carrier you felt like*

    An AT&T iPad Air is as flexible as a verizon iPad Air.It makes no difference, verizon will give you a simcard and an AT&T iPad Air will work on verizon no problem. You can carry 3 sims in your wallet and use a different carrier each day.

    * - except sprint. Sprint is very bothersome. They want proof you bought a universal part # and they want the receipt proving you bought it from the apple store before they will activate your service, since the sprint version has the sprint lte channel you may not get lte speeds.
  8. Truefan31 macrumors 68040


    Aug 25, 2012
    The Verizon iPad supports the others except sprint. Taking a att or tmobile iPad to either sprint or Verizon will be tougher because they require a valid Meid to be able to activate.
  9. iolinux333 macrumors 68000

    Feb 9, 2014
    So is the Sprint iPad currently the most flexible because it will work on all carriers?
  10. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    Yes. Caveat being Verizon may make you jump through hoops to activate new service on your non-Verizon iPad. If you already have a working Verizon SIM or can convince the customer service rep to add your device's IMEI to Verizon's database, then it's fine.

    Not an issue with the iPad really. Just with Verizon and Spring being asinine about BYOD.
  11. Truefan31 macrumors 68040


    Aug 25, 2012

    Sprint and Verizon. Cuz they have a database of Meids for their iPads that they'll only activate. The gsm ones are free from this pretty much.
  12. AppleFanatic10 macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2010
    Hawthorne, CA
    If it's a LTE device, they automatically come unlocked with Verizon.
  13. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    It ultimately depends on which CDMA carrier you THINK you might use in the future, or your users might use in the future.

    Additionally, it's been pretty well documented here that Sprint is the most strict about their database. Some people have reported they can get a non-Verizon iPad Air activated on Verizon, but it requires avoiding store reps and activating online when possible, or perhaps over the phone. There are no loopholes with Sprint however. Their restrictions are systemic, and there's no getting around them.
  14. Jade529 macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2011
    Actually, Sprint iPad is the least flexible one to use. The most flexible one to get is the Verizon iPad as it will work on ATT, T-Mobile and of course Verizon. Best deal is to get a Verizon iPad and take it to T-Mobile and get the 200mb free data for life. I did that and it comes in handy in a pinch. If I need to go to ATT it's an option. Going to Sprint is not an option.
  15. iolinux333 macrumors 68000

    Feb 9, 2014
    But didn't I just read that the Sprint iPad will work on Verizon network?

    If so that means Sprint iPad will work on ALL networks? Which network will Sprint iPad *not* work on?
  16. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    Keep in mind that unlike iPhones, the Sprint iPad is factory unlocked (as are other iPads sold in the US). Sprint's system will not allow non-Sprint devices on their network but since it's unlocked, the Sprint iPad can be used with any US carrier (including Verizon if you can somehow get hold of an already activated SIM card).
  17. Breaking Good macrumors 65816

    Sep 28, 2012
    Technically being able to work and the carrier activating on their network are two different things.

    My understanding is that there is only one model of the iPad Air and the iPad mini retina. The single model is designed to work on all celluar carriers around the world.

    From what I have read regarding the United States, the two CDMA carriers (Verizon and Sprint) will not allow devices which are not already in their IMEI database to be activated on their network.

    While carriers in the United States may be required to unlock your device, they are not required to allow any unlocked device on their network.

    I have read of some people having luck gettin non-Verizon specified iPads activated on Verizon. However, I have not read of anyone having success getting non-Sprint branded iPads activated on Sprint.

    My plan, if I could ever afford to do so, would be to buy the Verizon version of the next generation of iPad mini retina. I could never see myself using a tablet on Sprint unless they came out with some killer data deal like 1GB of data per month for $5 or something like that.

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