Moving AT&T SIM from old iPad

Discussion in 'iPad' started by brentsg, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    I just got the new 12.9 second gen Pro. I thought I could simply slide my AT&T SIM card over from the old iPad to the new one, as that's what I did in the past.

    The iPad wants to "transfer" service from the old iPad to the new one and it's trying to log into my AT&T account. Obviously I want to avoid the $25 activation fee BS. I know that I can use this iPad with no SIM (except Verizon). If I'm going to get hit for the fee either way then I'd rather do this.

    Anyone able to shed light on this?
  2. iKnowMr.Jobs macrumors regular


    Oct 17, 2010
    Did you buy it from Apple or AT&T? I know from experience that at this point, all the LTE iPads that Apple sells are unlocked. When I upgraded from an Air to an Air 2, I just popped the SIM from the old to the new and everything worked fine. If you bought it from AT&T, its unquestionably locked and therefore, you'll have to pony up for the fee...:(...unless you call customer service and complain and they'll probably refund you on your next bill.

    *Edited for spelling.
  3. brentsg thread starter macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    No I bought it from Apple. I just don't recall having to log into AT&T to get LTE working before. That's what it wants me to do when I swap the SIM over.
  4. Rafterman macrumors 68020

    Apr 23, 2010
    The newer iPads have electronic SIM cards built in (except for Verizon, which still requires a physical SIM card). Maybe it requires that the internal electronic SIM card be used and its getting confused by the physical SIM card.
  5. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    iPads do not have an embedded SIM. They come with an Apple branded SIM card that can be used with many different carriers.
  6. bidwalj macrumors 65816

    Feb 16, 2007
    Is it showing att at the top when you put the sim in? I wouldn't bother doing anything other than transferring the sim over and just leave the embbeddd sim unused.
  7. brentsg thread starter macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    I'll check later to see if the SIM needs to be re-seated or something. I didn't notice any AT&T logo at the top, but I did notice that the transfer is for pre-paid. Hmm.

    Am I correct in thinking I can swap the SIM and it should just work without any setup? That's what I recall.
  8. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    My ATT SIM card worked just fine in my 9.7 without involving AT&T! I expect it to do the same in my 10.5
  9. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    Except newer ones kinda do.

    I know for sure the Pro 9.7 Cellular models have an embedded SIM as well as a separate empty Nano-SIM card slot. Air 2 only had the Apple SIM, iirc.
  10. bidwalj macrumors 65816

    Feb 16, 2007
    The transfer option is there because of the embedded sim. If you insert the sim into the slot that should override the embedded sim.

    I didn't want to use the embedded sim on my new 10.5 as I want the ability to transfer the sim to my daughters iPad as I won't use data often. I inserted her card and it works just fine. I never activated the account on the embbeddd sim.
  11. yelkceb macrumors newbie

    Dec 11, 2007
    I have 3 ipads with LTE and I just log into ATT on the ipad I want to use and it's up and running in a minute or two. I'd rather do that than swap the sim card.
  12. brentsg, Jun 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017

    brentsg thread starter macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    I don't know what the issue was, but I removed the SIM and re-inserted it. It works fine now.

    It was oriented properly and everything. Looked good.. just didn't work.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 14, 2017 ---
    Do you have data plans for all 3?

    I currently have paid plans on 3 iPads (3 separate SIMMs). My fear with activating the internal "SIM" is that they'll hit me with a new $25 activation fee and then I'll have to contact them to cancel the SIM I already had.
  13. yelkceb macrumors newbie

    Dec 11, 2007
    No I just have 1 data plan. It's the original ipad unlimited plan, but I've been swapping back and forth between 2 ipads for years and just added my 10.5 into the mix and it works fine. I've never seen an activation fee.
  14. Lobwedgephil macrumors 68040


    Apr 7, 2012
    No true anymore, they do have an embedded Sim now, but you can also just use your previous SIM card, whichI did with no issue or activation or anything like that.
  15. bidwalj macrumors 65816

    Feb 16, 2007
    I have a postpaid account. I'm not sure if I sign into the embedded sim if that will kill the other sim for good and I can't reactivate it.
  16. jjk454ss macrumors 601


    Jul 10, 2008
    I know when I got the Mini 4 I had to go to AT&T for a new Sim card because they said I was changing models of iPad it wouldn't work. Yesterday when I got my new iPad Pro I took the SIM card from the Mini 4 and it worked without doing anything except inserting it into the new iPad.
  17. joeshmo2010 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    If you have an att post paid account for your iPad, then you need to go to and follow the prompts to activate your ne wiped on the embedded sim. It'll have you enter your IMEI and the MEID/ICCID if you didn't buy it from att directly. When you buy from att, they automatically have that entered there since it recognizes you just bought a new device. It took me about five min to switch from my 9.7 pro to the 10.5.
  18. Lobwedgephil macrumors 68040


    Apr 7, 2012
    Or just switch your sim, if you have one, which I did.

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