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

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 16, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.


    Apple outlines the Apple SIM on its iPad Air 2 wireless feature page:
    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
  2. DeanLubaki macrumors 6502


    May 29, 2014
    Toronto | Montréal | Québec

    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.
  3. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    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.
  4. MichaelJohnston macrumors member


    Jul 18, 2007
    San Luis Obispo
    Now if only they sold the Apple SIM separately...
  5. myname70 macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2014
    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 ?
  6. ravision macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2014
    Sucks to be Verizon

    Sucks to be Verizon. Glad that I moved from them over two years ago.
  7. swordfish5736 macrumors 68000


    Jun 29, 2007
    I'd guess it works like iPads do now. You take out the current SIM card and put in one for your new carrier.
  8. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    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.
  9. bushido Suspended


    Mar 26, 2008
    weird, in germany u just bought the "wifi + data" model and put whatever sim in
  10. Greenstein macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2010
    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.
  11. macduke macrumors G3


    Jun 27, 2007
    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.
  12. Glassed Silver macrumors 68020

    Glassed Silver

    Mar 10, 2007
    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
  13. CrAkD macrumors 68040


    Feb 15, 2010
    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.
  14. terraphantm macrumors 68040

    Jun 27, 2009
    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.
  15. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Jan 16, 2008
    Bristol, UK
    The store pages say that the new iPad models will still work with any compatible nano SIM.
  16. Plutonius macrumors 604


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire, USA
    The difference is that this one sim will work for three of the top four carriers (i.e. the user does not need to insert a sim card).
  17. burnout8488 macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2011
    Endwell, NY
    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...
  18. Brows macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2010
    so where is it? I'm not seeing any sim card slot on any of the pics on apples website??
  19. markosb macrumors 6502


    Mar 19, 2010
    This is the one sim Frodo.

    This is a great idea, would be even nicer on the iPhone.
  20. swordfish5736 macrumors 68000


    Jun 29, 2007
    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.
  21. xardoz macrumors newbie

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

    Oct 16, 2014
  23. scott911 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2009
    Does anyone know if you must get the cell model to get GPS chip?
  24. ttss6 macrumors 6502

    Mar 28, 2014
    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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