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

Discussion in 'iPad' started by laela, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. laela macrumors regular


    Mar 17, 2010
    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:

  2. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    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.
  3. laela thread starter macrumors regular


    Mar 17, 2010
    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... :(
  4. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    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.
  5. ugcop macrumors 6502a


    Mar 15, 2012
    Traveling @ Warp Speed ...... USA
    As much as you are trying to avoid it, it appears that the only way is to swap the SIM to a phone, charge the account and swap it back.
  6. GoingDark macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2013
    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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