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

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
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.

Related Roundups: iPad mini, iPad
Related Forum: iPad

Top Rated Comments

DeanL Avatar
102 months ago
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.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
screensaver400 Avatar
102 months ago
No, there is no removable SIM tray from now on. If you bought the Apple Sim you will not be able to bring it to Verizon and other non participating carriers. You should complain to Verizon directly.

Are you being sarcastic? This is false. Apple's website says you can swap in a Verizon SIM from a Verizon store.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
swordfish5736 Avatar
102 months ago
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?

I'd guess it works like iPads do now. You take out the current SIM card and put in one for your new carrier.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bushido Avatar
102 months ago
weird, in germany u just bought the "wifi + data" model and put whatever sim in
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
donnaw Avatar
102 months ago
Nobody should be taking pictures with tablets anyways.
I don't see why the iPad needed slo mo and panorama mode.

Oh BS. I'm tired of reading this. I take pics and videos of my grandkids with my iPad all the time. A) because it's usually nearest, and B) they love to see themselves immediately on a big screen.

And I'm quite sure my granddaughter (she's 7) will love to watch a slo-mo of herself trying to stand on her head.

We have great fun with it and frankly it's one reason I buy iPads. So just because you don't use the camera doesnt mean a lot of people don't.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sam doohicky Avatar
102 months ago
Can Verizon be any more douchie?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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