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mcgroarty

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 7, 2011
70
19
The 9.7" iPad Pro has an embedded Apple sim that can support many different carriers. My understanding is that the embedded Apple sim is used if no sim is present in the sim tray.

With prior iPad models that shipped with an Apple sim in the tray, AT&T locks the sim to its service if AT&T is activated. This renders the sim no longer usable with other carriers after leaving AT&T: http://recode.net/2014/10/24/att-co...twork-but-says-switching-carriers-still-easy/

Will the embedded sim be subject to the same problem? If an iPad Pro 9.7" is used with AT&T, is it no longer possible to use other carriers without an additional sim in the tray, even after leaving AT&T?
 

sslade6752

macrumors member
Jul 16, 2015
72
48
The 9.7" iPad Pro has an embedded Apple sim that can support many different carriers. My understanding is that the embedded Apple sim is used if no sim is present in the sim tray.

With prior iPad models that shipped with an Apple sim in the tray, AT&T locks the sim to its service if AT&T is activated. This renders the sim no longer usable with other carriers after leaving AT&T: http://recode.net/2014/10/24/att-co...twork-but-says-switching-carriers-still-easy/

Will the embedded sim be subject to the same problem? If an iPad Pro 9.7" is used with AT&T, is it no longer possible to use other carriers without an additional sim in the tray, even after leaving AT&T?

I remember reading on this site of one of the other apple news sites that AT&T does lock it and Verizon relay goes overboard on locking it

not sure what would happen if I put my new sim card in the device before turning it on ill find out in a few hours I guess
 

Krevnik

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2003
3,859
1,059
I remember reading on this site of one of the other apple news sites that AT&T does lock it and Verizon relay goes overboard on locking it

Verizon just doesn't support it, and demands you get their SIM instead. Comparing it to AT&T, if they want that control, I prefer Verizon's approach than outright locking the embedded SIM.
 
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sslade6752

macrumors member
Jul 16, 2015
72
48
saw this on another news sites review under what carrier should you pick not sure if I cna post the direct link to another site on these forums

What you need to know about the Apple SIM
Apple ships all its U.S. iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular models with the Apple SIM: It's a cellular nano-SIM card that lets you choose between AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and the international data service GigSky.

In a perfect world, you would be able to switch carriers at will with your Apple SIM, but not every company has opted in. Auto-switching works if you pick a T-Mobile, Sprint, or GigSky plan: You can have accounts on all three networks, and switch between their plans depending on which suits you based on your location.

Pick AT&T, however, and your Apple SIM card will immediately lock down and become an AT&T-only SIM card. The AT&T option will also immediately disappear once you pick one of its competitors. (Lame, AT&T. Super-lame.)

What if you prefer another carrier that supports tablet plans, like Verizon? Luckily, all iPads have an unlocked nano-SIM slot, allowing you to swap in any SIM card from the carrier of your choice. This includes international carriers — which means you can freely use your iPad overseas with a local SIM rather than paying crazy fees for U.S. provider roaming. You need only visit your carrier and pick up a nano-SIM card (usually for free or a nominal fee).
 

mcgroarty

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 7, 2011
70
19
Tech Crunch has a write up on this issue:
http://techcrunch.com/2016/03/23/ex...e-ipad-pros-embedded-apple-sim-means-for-you/

tl;dr: The restrictions are the same as with the prior Apple sims. One positive: You don't have to remove the sim from the tray in order to use the internal sim. You can select between carriers if two sims are inserted, so be careful about which carrier you choose for the internal sim.

For myself, I'll probably snatch T-Mobile's 200MB free-for-life option on the internal sim. Then I can use it with full T-Mobile service later if I need more data, or I can add another carrier's sim in the slot and use T-Mobile as backup if the primary carrier ever has issues.
 

ahostmadsen

macrumors 65816
Dec 28, 2009
1,006
623
Tech Crunch has a write up on this issue:
http://techcrunch.com/2016/03/23/ex...e-ipad-pros-embedded-apple-sim-means-for-you/

tl;dr: The restrictions are the same as with the prior Apple sims. One positive: You don't have to remove the sim from the tray in order to use the internal sim. You can select between carriers if two sims are inserted, so be careful about which carrier you choose for the internal sim.

For myself, I'll probably snatch T-Mobile's 200MB free-for-life option on the internal sim. Then I can use it with full T-Mobile service later if I need more data, or I can add another carrier's sim in the slot and use T-Mobile as backup if the primary carrier ever has issues.
Question: is that still available? I have it on my Air 2, but I cannot find any mention on T-Mobile's website about it now. If I cannot get this, I will probably not upgrade to the Pro.
 

npolly0212

macrumors 65816
Sep 21, 2015
1,335
435
Question: is that still available? I have it on my Air 2, but I cannot find any mention on T-Mobile's website about it now. If I cannot get this, I will probably not upgrade to the Pro.
Just got my iPad Pro and I was able to pick it up after setting up my iPad.
 

mcgroarty

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 7, 2011
70
19
Question: is that still available? I have it on my Air 2, but I cannot find any mention on T-Mobile's website about it now. If I cannot get this, I will probably not upgrade to the Pro.

T-Mobile removed most references to the 200MB Starter Data Promotion a year back. But I helped a friend activate the 200MB for life on a 12.9" iPad Pro just a couple weeks ago. It's only ever been available when activating via the web or the built-in activations screens, but AFAIK it's still there.
 

npolly0212

macrumors 65816
Sep 21, 2015
1,335
435

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tivoboy

macrumors 68040
May 15, 2005
3,421
407
I have the 200MB tmobile plan on an ipad air gen 1.. can I just take that tmobile sim out, put it in a new ipad pro and be back up and running, no need to activate anything with the apple sim or other? I also have an at&t sim I have used to swap in and out at times.. would putting that physical sim into the unlocked sim slot LOCK the device to AT&T after use, or is it only when activating the AT&T on the embedded apple sim?
 

ashescorp

macrumors newbie
Apr 1, 2016
2
0
Unfortunately, that's right!

This is what happened with me. Before I bought my iPad Pro 9.7 from att, I checked with the att store manager and att help desk agent ( att.com ) whether the embedded sim would be locked and they both confirmed that it wouldn't.
When I picked up my iPad, att gave me a sim to used on the external sim slot. I didn't activate it in the store as I was running late for an appointment.
Went back home, turned on my iPad and set it up, without the sim. Didn't activate any cellular connection.
When I went to general, under cellular only att showed up as a network for selection. Being confused I took my iPad to the Apple Store. Got a genius guy to look at it. And he said the new Apple iPad are not locked and he was not sure why only att appears (still haven't inserted the att sim). The genius guy spoke to his manager and came back with an unfortunate news. When he ran my device sn/imei it showed up that it was locked with att Us and there is nothing they can do.

I am going back this morning to return it. I travel a lot and I want the flexibility to chose any network on the fly without visiting a store to get a new sim.

Cheers
Ashes




The 9.7" iPad Pro has an embedded Apple sim that can support many different carriers. My understanding is that the embedded Apple sim is used if no sim is present in the sim tray.

With prior iPad models that shipped with an Apple sim in the tray, AT&T locks the sim to its service if AT&T is activated. This renders the sim no longer usable with other carriers after leaving AT&T: http://recode.net/2014/10/24/att-co...twork-but-says-switching-carriers-still-easy/

Will the embedded sim be subject to the same problem? If an iPad Pro 9.7" is used with AT&T, is it no longer possible to use other carriers without an additional sim in the tray, even after leaving AT&T?
 

RedOrchestra

Suspended
Aug 13, 2012
2,623
3,237
The 9.7" iPad Pro has an embedded Apple sim that can support many different carriers.

Actually, I think there's only 6 carriers on the list of service providers "using" the embedded SIM. The SIM tray will be around for a long time.
 

SBA

macrumors member
Aug 10, 2008
88
9
Unfortunately, that's right!

This is what happened with me. Before I bought my iPad Pro 9.7 from att, I checked with the att store manager and att help desk agent ( att.com ) whether the embedded sim would be locked and they both confirmed that it wouldn't.
When I picked up my iPad, att gave me a sim to used on the external sim slot. I didn't activate it in the store as I was running late for an appointment.
Went back home, turned on my iPad and set it up, without the sim. Didn't activate any cellular connection.
When I went to general, under cellular only att showed up as a network for selection. Being confused I took my iPad to the Apple Store. Got a genius guy to look at it. And he said the new Apple iPad are not locked and he was not sure why only att appears (still haven't inserted the att sim). The genius guy spoke to his manager and came back with an unfortunate news. When he ran my device sn/imei it showed up that it was locked with att Us and there is nothing they can do.

I am going back this morning to return it. I travel a lot and I want the flexibility to chose any network on the fly without visiting a store to get a new sim.

Cheers
Ashes

Sadly, this isn't surprising. I have a 12.9" iPad Pro from at&t and it's locked to their network.

Fortunately, I've had good luck getting my at&t devices unlocked via their online request portal. I'll have to give that a shot with my Pro soon and see what happens.

EDIT: Correction - My iPad Pro is NOT locked by at&t.

I had inserted an active t-mobile sim card, and for some reason, the iPad wouldn't read it, but I just tried again to be sure, and it worked with no issue.

The iPad did ship with an active Apple SIM card pre-installed and set to my account though, for whatever that's worth.
 
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ashescorp

macrumors newbie
Apr 1, 2016
2
0
The device remains unlocked. What locks is the SIM.

Yup that's right. In my case the embedded sim in the apple iPad Pro 9.7 was locked with att. I still could use an external sim from another provider, but that defeats the flexibility of choosing a network when I travel internationally instead of taking the time to visit the store to get a sim.
The att store manager was nice enough to understand my situation and waive the restocking fee. (We had a long discussion as it wasn't easy for him to waive it off)
Got my new iPad from BestBuy and now able to pick any network I want.

Cheers!!
Ash
 

rui no onna

Contributor
Oct 25, 2013
11,480
8,296
Note, both T-Mobile and Sprint don't lock the SIM. Granted, AT&T has wider coverage.
 

garyleecn

macrumors 6502a
Jul 25, 2014
841
142
When I activated physical apple sim on old devices, it alerts you once you select att you can't go back, but on this embedded apple sim, it does NOT say so, there is no alert or notifications when select att.
So I wonder since this virtual Apple sim is permanently attached to the device, att choice not to lock it?
 
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