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1CaesaR1

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 23, 2020
131
89
So I have never activated a cellular service, but found some cheap options through TMobile that I would like to use. I have a 2018 11" iPad Pro and a 2017 10.5" iPad Pro. I am trying to activate cellular on the 11" IPP. However, when I go to cellular, I don't see the listed available networks like I do with the 10.5" IPP.

First two images are from the 10.5" IPP. You can see that when I go to Cellular, it lists the providers, I can select TMobile and then pick a plan.

The second two images are from the 11" IPP. In this case, it says to add plan, but then doesn't list the provider and asks for a QR code. How do I get to the same list in 11" IPP as I have with the 10.5" IPP?

Edit: Just checked my iPad 8th Gen and it has the same exact thing as the 10.5" IPP. So the one iPad that I want to use doesn't have the options, but the other two do. How do I fix this?

The reason I am trying to go through this is because TMobile has the option listed for pre-paid (~$10 for a small amount of data over 5 months which is plent) that isn't available when I search online.

Thanks
 

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Last edited:

rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
14,786
12,998
Is the 2018 iPad Pro 11" carrier branded? I remember seeing the same thing on my Verizon iPad Air 3.

Sadly, fixing it would probably requires hours of calls trying to reach a customer service rep who's familiar with carrier visibility/carrier reveal restrictions (assuming you have an account with that carrier).
 

1CaesaR1

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 23, 2020
131
89
Is the 2018 iPad Pro 11" carrier branded? I remember seeing the same thing on my Verizon iPad Air 3.

Sadly, fixing it would probably requires hours of calls trying to reach a customer service rep who's familiar with carrier visibility/carrier reveal restrictions (assuming you have an account with that carrier).

I am not sure. Any way to find out? I purchased it used. I checked the IMEI on one of the online websites and it says unlocked for carrier, but could be carrier branded as you said. I had SIM card for AT&T that I put in and it detected the ATT network.
 

rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
14,786
12,998
I am not sure. Any way to find out? I purchased it used. I checked the IMEI on one of the online websites and it says unlocked for carrier, but could be carrier branded as you said. I had SIM card for AT&T that I put in and it detected the ATT network.

Did it come with the original box? The back of the box would show if it's Verizon, Sprint or AT&T (in very small print).

The physical SIM card slot is always unlocked but again, carrier visibility rules apply. You need a pre-activated SIM for the physical slot. You can't sign up for an AT&T or T-Mobile plan through Settings - Cellular even if you pop in a brand new unused AT&T or T-Mobile SIM.

This is one of the reasons I don't like buying used cellular iPads unless I just plan on using it with physical SIM. There are sellers who list their iPads as unlocked when it's in fact carrier branded (technically unlocked but with limitations).
 

1CaesaR1

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 23, 2020
131
89
Did it come with the original box? The back of the box would show if it's Verizon, Sprint or AT&T (in very small print).

The physical SIM card slot is always unlocked but again, carrier visibility rules apply. You need a pre-activated SIM for the physical slot. You can't sign up for an AT&T or T-Mobile plan through Settings - Cellular even if you pop in a brand new unused AT&T or T-Mobile SIM.

This is one of the reasons I don't like buying used cellular iPads unless I just plan on using it with physical SIM. There are sellers who list their iPads as unlocked when it's in fact carrier branded (technically unlocked but with limitations).

Ok thanks. It didn't come with the box so I have no way of knowing. The seller didn't advertise it as unlocked and I didn't care at the time (got the 2018 11" iPad Pro with Apple folio and Apple keyboard folio for $150!). I was just browsing around and saw the TMobile option and thought why not? Just as a backup, and so started looking into it when I came across this issue. Seems like carrier visibility issue is the problem here. I will see if I can get a preactivated SIM card. Thank you for your help - it makes sense why this acts differently than my iPad Pro 10.5 and Ipad 8th gen.
 

mikedude86

macrumors regular
Sep 2, 2010
132
102
Ok thanks. It didn't come with the box so I have no way of knowing. The seller didn't advertise it as unlocked and I didn't care at the time (got the 2018 11" iPad Pro with Apple folio and Apple keyboard folio for $150!). I was just browsing around and saw the TMobile option and thought why not? Just as a backup, and so started looking into it when I came across this issue. Seems like carrier visibility issue is the problem here. I will see if I can get a preactivated SIM card. Thank you for your help - it makes sense why this acts differently than my iPad Pro 10.5 and Ipad 8th gen.
Wow amazing deal!!!!
 

rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
14,786
12,998
Ok thanks. It didn't come with the box so I have no way of knowing. The seller didn't advertise it as unlocked and I didn't care at the time (got the 2018 11" iPad Pro with Apple folio and Apple keyboard folio for $150!).

That is an excellent deal. I wouldn't care about cellular either.


I was just browsing around and saw the TMobile option and thought why not? Just as a backup, and so started looking into it when I came across this issue. Seems like carrier visibility issue is the problem here. I will see if I can get a preactivated SIM card. Thank you for your help - it makes sense why this acts differently than my iPad Pro 10.5 and Ipad 8th gen.

The $10/5GB plan is exclusive to iPads. Maybe you can sign up with a T-Mobile SIM using the Pro 10.5 or 8th gen and then swap it over to the Pro 11? Sign up with the iPad you plan on keeping longer since you'll probably need to swap SIM cards every time you renew the plan.
 

1CaesaR1

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 23, 2020
131
89
Yeah I thought it was a scam at first, but worked out well.

Thanks for the tip. I signed up using iPad 8th. Will try to convert to physical SIM and then will just put that into the 11" IPP. Fingers crossed that it all works out.
 

1CaesaR1

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 23, 2020
131
89
Is there a SIM card in the slot?
There wasn't any SIM card in the slot. I had an old ATT SIM card laying around that it recognized. I also found a Verizon SIM card that it recognized. Neither of them have an active line on them so couldn't test much more.
 

Rafterman

Contributor
Apr 23, 2010
7,267
8,796
Try the IMEI or ICCID numbers in google (Settings, General, About) , see if it can ID the carrier.
 

rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
14,786
12,998
Try a Google search for the model number, too (e.g. MV1T2LL/A). It’s also on Settings - General - About. You might need to tap on “Model” to switch between the generic model number and the specific model number/SKU.
 

1CaesaR1

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 23, 2020
131
89
Tried searching the model number and it doesn't tell me the carrier. Model is "MU0P2LL/A". Checked the IMEI and it came back as Unlocked and Carrier: Unlocked. I tested the same site using IMEI for my iPhone 12 Pro and it confirmed that the site works. It gave SIM Locked and identified "Xfinity" under Carrier. So confusing!
 

rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
14,786
12,998
Tried searching the model number and it doesn't tell me the carrier. Model is "MU0P2LL/A". Checked the IMEI and it came back as Unlocked and Carrier: Unlocked. I tested the same site using IMEI for my iPhone 12 Pro and it confirmed that the site works. It gave SIM Locked and identified "Xfinity" under Carrier. So confusing!


It’s Verizon.


Key Features
  • Verizon Unlocked
  • 1st Generation (Late 2018)
  • 11" Multi-Touch Liquid Retina Display
  • 2388 x 1668 Screen Resolution (264 ppi)
  • Apple A12X 64-Bit SoC + M12 Coprocessor
  • 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), BT 5.0
  • Front 7MP TrueDepth Face ID Camera
  • Rear 12MP Camera
  • USB Type-C Connectivity
  • Supports Apple Pencil (2nd Gen)
Again, technically unlocked but with limitations.
 

Foghorn leghorn

macrumors member
Apr 19, 2012
32
7
All cellular iPads are unlocked. The pads are different than the iPhones which can be locked for 40-60 days after purchase depending on the carrier. I have the latest (2021) iPad Pro that I purchased from Apple. I currently have Verizon on pSIM and T-Mobile and AT&T both on eSIM.
 

rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
14,786
12,998
All cellular iPads are unlocked. The pads are different than the iPhones which can be locked for 40-60 days after purchase depending on the carrier. I have the latest (2021) iPad Pro that I purchased from Apple. I currently have Verizon on pSIM and T-Mobile and AT&T both on eSIM.

It’s a bit different if you buy iPads directly from AT&T or Verizon store. Physical SIM slot is always unlocked.

On Verizon, they disabled the embedded Apple SIM on 2016 and 2017 iPad Pros. For newer models with eSIM, the eSIM is locked to Verizon.
 

1CaesaR1

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 23, 2020
131
89
It’s Verizon.


Key Features
  • Verizon Unlocked
  • 1st Generation (Late 2018)
  • 11" Multi-Touch Liquid Retina Display
  • 2388 x 1668 Screen Resolution (264 ppi)
  • Apple A12X 64-Bit SoC + M12 Coprocessor
  • 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), BT 5.0
  • Front 7MP TrueDepth Face ID Camera
  • Rear 12MP Camera
  • USB Type-C Connectivity
  • Supports Apple Pencil (2nd Gen)
Again, technically unlocked but with limitations.

Thank you. Wondering why if it is Verizon branded it doesn't even list Verizon as one of the available plans? I see that Verizon would lock out or remove visibility of other providers, but they should include themselves in the list. Ah well, I will just keep the TMobile plan on the iPad 8th as I don't intend to keep the IPP 10.5.
 

rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
14,786
12,998
Thank you. Wondering why if it is Verizon branded it doesn't even list Verizon as one of the available plans? I see that Verizon would lock out or remove visibility of other providers, but they should include themselves in the list. Ah well, I will just keep the TMobile plan on the iPad 8th as I don't intend to keep the IPP 10.5.

That reminds me, Verizon didn't add eSIM support for iPads until I believe 2021 iPad Pro and it seems to me they're not adding backwards compatibility. I remember checking before and the 2018 iPad Pro only listed AT&T, T-Mobile and a few MVNOs while the 2021 iPad Pro listed AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and MVNOs.

The eSIM on a Verizon SKU 2018 iPad Pro may not actually be usable at all.
 
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jetsam

macrumors 6502a
Jul 28, 2015
884
621
So I have never activated a cellular service, but found some cheap options through TMobile that I would like to use. I have a 2018 11" iPad Pro and a 2017 10.5" iPad Pro. I am trying to activate cellular on the 11" IPP. However, when I go to cellular, I don't see the listed available networks like I do with the 10.5" IPP.

First two images are from the 10.5" IPP. You can see that when I go to Cellular, it lists the providers, I can select TMobile and then pick a plan.

The second two images are from the 11" IPP. In this case, it says to add plan, but then doesn't list the provider and asks for a QR code. How do I get to the same list in 11" IPP as I have with the 10.5" IPP?

Edit: Just checked my iPad 8th Gen and it has the same exact thing as the 10.5" IPP. So the one iPad that I want to use doesn't have the options, but the other two do. How do I fix this?

The reason I am trying to go through this is because TMobile has the option listed for pre-paid (~$10 for a small amount of data over 5 months which is plent) that isn't available when I search online.

Thanks
Maybe I'm missing something, but it looks like the second IPP isn't connected to WiFi - I can see in the photo it says "WiFi - not connected."

If you connect it to WiFi, do you then see a choice of cellular plans?
 
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1CaesaR1

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 23, 2020
131
89
Maybe I'm missing something, but it looks like the second IPP isn't connected to WiFi - I can see in the photo it says "WiFi - not connected."

If you connect it to WiFi, do you then see a choice of cellular plans?
Wow great eye. Yes it is the same even with WiFi turned off. I was playing around with cellular and WiFi to see if there was any combination that worked to show the list. I had tried with that off and still the same result.
 

jdb8167

macrumors 601
Nov 17, 2008
4,788
4,517
That reminds me, Verizon didn't add eSIM support for iPads until I believe 2021 iPad Pro and it seems to me they're not adding backwards compatibility. I remember checking before and the 2018 iPad Pro only listed AT&T, T-Mobile and a few MVNOs while the 2021 iPad Pro listed AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and MVNOs.

The eSIM on a Verizon SKU 2018 iPad Pro may not actually be usable at all.
Looking at my unactivated 2020 iPad Pro and I don't see Verizon. I only see AT&T, T-Mobile, GigSky, RedteaGo, and Truphone. If the eSim was carrier locked the iPad is still technically unlocked via the SIM slot it's just not very convenient.
 

rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
14,786
12,998
If the eSim was carrier locked the iPad is still technically unlocked via the SIM slot it's just not very convenient.

Yep. Really, the only issue is if one wants to sign up for the iPad exclusive $10/5GB/150 day plan, you'd need a fully unlocked, SIM-free iPad for that.
 
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