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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Historically, users purchasing cellular versions of iPads have had to choose their carrier at the time of purchase, with Apple shipping a device specifically configured for use on that carrier. But with the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, Apple is launching a new "Apple SIM" included with devices purchased in the United States and United Kingdom.

For U.S. users in particular, the Apple SIM allows users to easily move among AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint by taking advantage of short-term data plans as needed. And with EE participating in the UK, even access while abroad is simplified. And of course the system should work equally well for UK customers traveling abroad to the United States.

ipad_air_2_apple_sim.jpg

Apple outlines the Apple SIM on its iPad Air 2 wireless feature page:
One SIM. Many options.

The new Apple SIM is preinstalled on iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular models. The Apple SIM gives you the flexibility to choose from a variety of short-term plans from select carriers in the U.S. and UK right on your iPad. So whenever you need it, you can choose the plan that works best for you -- with no long-term commitments. And when you travel, you may also be able to choose a data plan from a local carrier for the duration of your trip.
Apple notes in an explanatory pop up on its iPad Air 2 store page that Verizon is not a participating carrier and Verizon customers will need to visit Verizon stores to activate cellular service on their devices.

Article Link: New Cellular iPads Include 'Apple SIM' in U.S. and U.K. for Multi-Carrier Compatibility
 

DeanL

Contributor
May 29, 2014
1,167
1,099
Toronto
Huge!

That is huge and awesome!
And it's cross country!

They should bring it to the iPhone, just for the possibility of choosing a prepaid carrier abroad (for unlocked iPhones).

But I don't think that all carriers (just like Verizon) will participate because it makes it too easy to switch to another carrier.
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,627
342
Sooo, how does that work exactly, for Verizon and other non-participating carriers? is there a SIM slot where an alternate SIM can be installed?

Don't get me wrong, I think this is great, but, the lack of carrier buy in is a little irksome.
 

myname70

macrumors 6502a
May 5, 2014
630
81
Hmm does it mean if I buy it from UK will be able to use the cellu ONLY in uk and no option to another SIM ?
 

ravision

macrumors newbie
Oct 13, 2014
3
43
Sucks to be Verizon

Sucks to be Verizon. Glad that I moved from them over two years ago.
 

CEmajr

macrumors 601
Dec 18, 2012
4,397
1,156
Charlotte, NC
Sooo, how does that work exactly, for Verizon and other non-participating carriers? is there a SIM slot where an alternate SIM can be installed?

Don't get me wrong, I think this is great, but, the lack of carrier buy in is a little irksome.

From the sounds of it there's still a sim card slot it's just that it's no longer pre-installed with a carrier sim. This way Apple can just sell one model of cellular iPads and the user can go to his carrier of choice for a sim card.

So a Verizon user would buy this iPad and go to Verizon for a sim card to get service on it. The Apple Sim is likely only there for activation purposes.
 

Greenstein

macrumors member
Jun 21, 2010
94
13
So...tomorrow when pre-orders open...will I be able to order an iPad Air 2, Verizon model from the Apple Store? If so, once it arrives, will I then have to take it directly to a Verizon store to "get it setup"?

Or, will I have to order one directly from Verizon?

Thanks in advance.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,740
16,417
Central U.S.
So Apple is making things super easy for everyone except Verizon users? I mean, it's probably Verizon's fault, but after you setup service can you not just turn it on and off like before? You have to visit an actual store each time? That seems pretty weird.
 

Glassed Silver

macrumors 68020
Mar 10, 2007
2,096
2,564
Kassel, Germany
How did they not talk about this today?
This is big news and they talked about a lot of less important things today.

Like cameras on tablets.

I get they are useful for many instances, but surely a 30 second part about Apple SIM would seem justifiable against many minutes of iPad camera talk?

This will making roaming a lot more comfortable!

Glassed Silver:mac
 

CrAkD

macrumors 68040
Feb 15, 2010
3,178
255
Boston, MA
this is awesome.....figures verizon has to spoil the party......I thought sprint had that same mentality only their devices on their network...i hate sprint but its a step in the right direction.
 

terraphantm

macrumors 68040
Jun 27, 2009
3,794
613
Pennsylvania
Pretty cool. I imagine this is a stepping stone towards virtual SIMs

I'm surprised Sprint is participating, since they usually have pretty crazy portability policies.
 

burnout8488

macrumors 6502a
May 8, 2011
540
10
Endwell, NY
So Apple is making things super easy for everyone except Verizon users? I mean, it's probably Verizon's fault, but after you setup service can you not just turn it on and off like before? You have to visit an actual store each time? That seems pretty weird.

You'll most likely be able to select your carrier during checkout. Apple wouldn't make the users have to go to a Verizon store for a SIM if they chose that carrier.

ATT Sprint and T-mo selections would get the Apple SIM pre-installed, while Verizon purchases would get a Verizon SIM pre-installed.

Just my take on it. BUT: Perhaps Verizon customers can register their iPad with Verizon online or in-store, with the Apple-SIM still installed. There's a few ways Apple can go about this I presume...
 

markosb

macrumors 6502
Mar 19, 2010
375
51
This is the one sim Frodo.

This is a great idea, would be even nicer on the iPhone.
 

swordfish5736

macrumors 68000
Jun 29, 2007
1,898
106
Cesspool
So Apple is making things super easy for everyone except Verizon users? I mean, it's probably Verizon's fault, but after you setup service can you not just turn it on and off like before? You have to visit an actual store each time? That seems pretty weird.

I think you have to visit the store in order to get a Verizon SIM card if you buy a device with an Apple sim.
 

xardoz

macrumors newbie
Oct 16, 2014
2
0
So how will this affect someone with an Ipad 2 with At&t grandfathered unlimited plan...any issues with upgrading to the Air 2?
 

ttss6

macrumors 6502
Mar 28, 2014
333
58
California
This is actually really cool! It would make buying an iPhone so much more simple. Just go in and pick out your color and capacity then when setting it up for the first time have the prompt to add this phone to a cellular network.
 
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