Need advice on sim & carriers for cellular mini 4

Discussion in 'iPad Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Jeff_42, Sep 18, 2015.

  1. Jeff_42 macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2015
    Just got a mini 4, with separate Verizon and Apple nanoSIMs, but I read (somewhere) that I need to 'activate' with Verizon first (before any other carrier) in order to use my ipad with Verizon ever again. IS that true? Is choosing a pre-paid plan from the menu to use just long enough to 'activate' my ipad sufficient or do I need to take it to a Verizon store or something? I haven't chosen a plan yet but I don't want to be locked out of anything. Also I'm putting activate in air quotes because I don't really understand what it entails.
  2. rigormortis, Sep 20, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015

    rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009
    no thats not true at all

    okay the deal is the apple sim works on AT&T, sprint and t-mobile. they say once you activate the apple sim to AT&T , the apple sim can never be used on sprint or t-mobile. this is not a big deal. the iPad itself is not locked, once you decide you don't want AT&T you will need to get another sim card , or a new apple sim card

    verizon didn't want to be part of the apple sim world, so if you want to use verizon, you have to use their sim card

    there is no LOCKING whatsoever on any IPAD if you choose a carrier. you are free to choose whatever carrier you want and then cancel service and get a new sim card. the apple sim will let you switch between t-mobile and sprint ( and other carriers like EE and giga sky )

    but once the apple sim is an AT&T sim, it is always going to be a AT&T sim

    different carriers have different prices. most people now are probably on a share plan and they will just add
    the iPad to their existing shared data plan for $10 a month or so.

    you don't even need to activate the cellular sim card at all.

    AT&T, tmobile and sprint also sell prepaid buckets of data like 5 gigs for $50 a month and once you reach the limit
    the data stops and you have to wait till the next month

    t-mobile is different. if you buy 5 gigs of data and use all 5 gigs, then you can continue to use the iPad at slower speeds until the next month. any data you buy like $20 for 1 gig gives you unlimited music streaming on your iPad

    t-mobile will give you 200 mb of free data of the rest of your life each month, if you want. but with the free data you get no music and the data stops for the rest of the month

    AT&T has a new plan where you can get 1 gig of data for 90 days for $25

    t-mobile for new subscribers had this crazy plan where you can get 5 gb for $10 over 5 months. so it was 5 months or 5 gigs.

    this is a good way to test the waters of other carriers.

    when shopping around for other iPad plans, double check and ask if they activate your wifi hotspot.
    its been a while i don't remember if you get wifi hotspot, you probably do, i just don't know

    the ipad makes a good portable wifi hotspot with its 10 hour battery life

    t-mobile has a plan for data stash but its only for post paid. if you activate the sim card on the iPad directly and pay each month, you won't get data stash, you have go to the store

    i don't know much about sprint or verizon iPad plans, I've only used AT&T and t-mobile.

    with most iPad plans the company will either shut down your iPad once you use up your allotment, or they will charge you an overage. , t-mo just slows your access

    the cellular option is really good to have in case your iPad gets stolen or lost
  3. rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009
    there are two types of iPad customers. one are post paid customers / share plan customers. they take their apple sim , verizon sim and iPad to their carriers store and ask them to put the iPad on their family / share plan and pay $10 a month

    the rest of the iPad customers are prepaid customers. if you go prepaid, all you have to do is insert the sim card, and turn off wifi, and go to settings, cellular , and you can sign up to whatever carrier you want , and pay each month in advance. you never have to actually walk into the store, you can activate it all by yourself.

    once you complete activation, you can turn wifi back on

    but remember, your ipad will not be locked, however your flexible apple sim will become an AT&T sim if you go to AT&T and once you stop AT&T you will need a new sim card to switch
  4. Jeff_42 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2015
    Wow, thanks, that was really thorough and what I wanted to know!
  5. Jeff_42 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2015
    And I can get SIM cards at the Apple store? I think I read somewhere they are $4, is that right?
  6. rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009
    that i do not know. i tried going to carrier retail stores without the actual iPad and asking for a sim card, they all turned me down. except t-mobile. i couldn't believe it. T-mobile openly will sell sims for $15 but you can get them cheaper from amazon, as long as you have the apple sim you don't need to buy a t-mobile sim

    from what i tried, AT&T and Verizon will give you their sim cards free of charge if you agree to bring you device in and activate it in the store

    don't make the mistake of buying a AT&T go phone sim. when i tried this before , it does not work. they have a new and improved go phone sim for iPads but for some strange reason , AT&T only says it works on the iPad 3 and iPad mini 1

    i read an article on cnet just now and it says as long as you buy an iPad air 2 or mini 3 or mini 4 at apple your fine, but if you buy an iPad at a carriers store, it will come with their sim card and no apple sim

    but like i said before the iPad is never locked

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