iPad how to use prepaid data sim in iPad Air -- needs SMS for activation and recharging

laela

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 17, 2010
160
33
I'm traveling and I have access to cheap SIMs that support data. The only problem is that I need to send an SMS message from the SIM to activate the plan and to recharge with more credit.

How can I do this from the iPad? I can't seem to send SMS from mine. It's silly and inconvenient to have to pop out the SIM between various devices to get this done. :confused:

Thanks!
 

Menel

macrumors 603
Aug 4, 2011
6,211
1,162
Mobile broadband devices like tablets and iPads don't support voice for sms.

Carriers that properly support these devices... e.g. ATT, TMo, don't require sms for adding data.

The silliness is on carrier end.
 

laela

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 17, 2010
160
33
Mobile broadband devices like tablets and iPads don't support voice for sms.

Carriers that properly support these devices... e.g. ATT, TMo, don't require sms for adding data.

The silliness is on carrier end.
How is it that Samsung Galaxy Tab can support this then? Do they have some patent that is preventing Apple from properly supporting all the carriers? That's pretty sad in my book and shows that the patent wars can go both ways... :(
 

Menel

macrumors 603
Aug 4, 2011
6,211
1,162
How is it that Samsung Galaxy Tab can support this then? Do they have some patent that is preventing Apple from properly supporting all the carriers? That's pretty sad in my book and shows that the patent wars can go both ways... :(
Didn't know that. Did a quick Google. Galaxy Tab Uses a Marvell smartphone chip. It has all phone components.

iPhones and iPads typically use Qualcomm. Qualcomm has multiple varieties, voice+data and data only. SMS uses control channels of the telephone voice line. I suspect (but don't know for certain) that the data only chipset used in the iPad doesn't have sms capability due to lack of voice capability.

Marvell might not have that distinction between their different transceivers.
 

GoingDark

macrumors 6502
Nov 2, 2013
329
29
This has nothing to do with patents or with the chipset that the iPad uses vs the Galaxy Tab, and everything to do with the fact that iOS devices are simply more locked down than Android devices.

The only thing preventing you from using your iPad exactly like a phone is the fact that there is no Phone app on the iPad, and no way to install one (there are plenty of 3rd-party VOIP/google-voice apps, but none that will use your SIM card's number that I know of).
Android devices don't have this problem, you can load any dialer you want, from anywhere you want (Play store, 3rd party website, etc).

You could probably do it on a jailbroken iPad though (you would need to either extract Phone.app from an iPhone or find somewhere to download it).
 
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