AT&T Locks Apple SIM Cards on new iPad Air 2 & iPad mini 3

Discussion in 'iPad' started by David Howard, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. David Howard

    David Howard Guest

    AT&T Locks Apple SIM Cards on New iPads,2817,2470978,00.asp

    I don't understand the article.
    It says AT&T is locking the SIM card on the iPad Air 2 & iPad mini 3.
    Isn't this how carrier-specific SIM cards worked from the beginning?

    What's the news?
    David Howard, Oct 24, 2014
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  2. David Howard

    David Howard Guest

    I just realized that the new iPads are different than the old ones
    with respect to carrier SIM cards.
    David Howard, Oct 24, 2014
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  3. David Howard

    Guest Guest

    nope. the ipads are the same, it's the sim card that's different.

    the new ipad air 2 and mini 3 come with an apple sim, which is a
    universal sim that works on almost any carrier.

    that means that you can switch between at&t, t-mobile and sprint simply
    by tapping a menu in settings rather than physically swapping sims.
    it's *much* better for customers.

    the carriers, not surprisingly, do *not* like that at all.

    because of that, ipads bought from at&t will reportedly have the *sim*
    locked to at&t (not the ipad, which has always been unlocked) and
    sprint isn't including the sim at all, substituting a standard sprint
    sim, which btw, is locked to a particular device and can't be swapped.

    however, if you buy the ipad from apple, you get the apple sim and can
    pick which carrier you want from a menu.

    note that verizon is refusing to play at all. if you want verizon, you
    need to get a verizon sim.
    Guest, Oct 25, 2014
  4. David Howard

    David Howard Guest

    So, do I have this right yet?

    1. You buy the new iPad with the Apple SIM.
    2. You pick, say, T-Mobile, and you are fine (fee 500MB/month for life).
    3. You switch to, say, AT&T and you can.
    4. But, when you set up service, AT&T locks the "Apple" SIM card?

    If AT&T locks the "Apple" SIM card, I guess if you want to switch *back*
    to, say, T-Mobile, you now can't?

    Is that right?
    David Howard, Oct 25, 2014
  5. David Howard

    Guest Guest

    if you buy from apple or an apple reseller.
    200 meg but who is counting.
    that's how it's supposed to work.

    here's the menu:

    and here's what apple says:
    If you purchase your iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 3 from a carrier retail
    location, your Apple SIM will only be compatible with that carrier's
    program. If you purchase your iPad Air or iPad mini 3 from an Apple
    Retail, Apple On-line store, or a reseller within countries where
    Apple SIM is supported, you'll have all participating carriers to
    choose from.
    unfortunately, at&t appears to want to lock people in and is locking
    the sim (not the ipad) if you switch to at&t (and definitely if you buy
    from them).

    from the above link,
    ...When you choose AT&T on iPad Air 2 and iPad mini
    3, AT&T dedicates Apple SIM to their network only.

    and from a user:
    you can switch back but you will need a new sim. the apple sim has now
    become an at&t dedicated sim.

    keep in mind that this is just at&t. other carriers may not do that.
    right now there are only a few carriers participating with the apple
    sim, but that is expected to change.
    Guest, Oct 25, 2014
  6. From what I've been reading, yes that is right. You would have to buy
    a new Apple SIM (or some other SIM I suppose) if you wanted to switch

    Seems to me it is much ado about something rather trivial. Yeah, you'd
    Have to physically switch the SIMs around but that's what you do now.

    I'm actually thinking about getting an iPad w/cellular this time and
    get the T-Mobile freebie. TM around here is just edge, but that is
    good enough for the trivial use I have for that and it becomes
    literally free unlimited data since the free 500Mb is just for the 4G
    Stuff unless I misunderstand.
    Lloyd Parsons, Oct 25, 2014
  7. David Howard

    DevilsPGD Guest

    The difference is that the SIM is specifically marketed to be able to
    switch carriers without lock-in, yet one of the very few initial
    partners has a lock-in.
    DevilsPGD, Oct 25, 2014
  8. And the biggest one doesn't use it at all.
    Lloyd Parsons, Oct 25, 2014
  9. David Howard

    David Howard Guest

    That's interesting.

    Thanks for clarifying that AT&T basically ruins the
    cross-carrier feature of the new Apple SIM card.

    Will the new Apple SIM card work with the previous
    generation of the iPad Air and Ipad Mini?
    David Howard, Oct 25, 2014
  10. Lloyd Parsons wrote, on Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:23:45 -0500:
    Quote from:
    "AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint are listed as part of the Apple SIM program,
    which is a single SIM that can handle all three carriers.
    At least at the Apple store, a salesperson and customer can easily
    choose between the three carriers. Verizon Wireless is not a
    participant in the program."

    It's interesting that Best Buy will put in the universal Apple SIM
    card, but AT&T will lock it anyway.

    I suspect it's because AT&T doesn't want its customers to realize the
    free 200MB/month that switching to T-Mobile would allow its customers.

    International travelers will be the losers here.
    Jonathan Williams, Oct 25, 2014
  11. From what I've read, though, you can buy another Apple SIM from Apple
    and then switch out the SIM when traveling abroad or changing carriers.
    (Not that I like what AT&T is doing here.)

    Martin Frost me at invalid stanford daht edu, Oct 25, 2014
  12. David Howard

    Savageduck Guest

    I have never favored any carrier other than Verizon, as where I am West
    of Paso Robles in California AT&T, T-Mobile & Sprint have very iffy
    Most of my online work with my iPad is managed over my home network. If
    I am away from that I usually just use my iPhone as an LTE hotspot. In
    a worst case scenario I use the Apple SIM to buy a limited block of
    broad band for the trip If you favor Verizon get your iPad Air 2 with
    the Apple SIM by buying direct from Apple or at an Apple Store, and
    they will supply you with a Verizon SIM, and you get to keep the Apple
    SIM for those times you might need it on that international trip.
    Savageduck, Oct 25, 2014
  13. David Howard

    DevilsPGD Guest

    In the last episode of <>, Martin
    True. It just defeats the whole point...
    DevilsPGD, Oct 25, 2014
  14. David Howard

    Savageduck Guest

    Savageduck, Oct 25, 2014
  15. Savageduck wrote, on Fri, 24 Oct 2014 23:01:46 -0700:
    Seems like a smart move to keep the Apple SIM unlocked, and if
    you're gonna go with AT&T, to have a separate AT&T SIM instead.
    Jonathan Williams, Oct 25, 2014
  16. David Howard

    DevilsPGD Guest

    In the last episode of
    It's also worth noting that this isn't especially unique, Lenovo has
    sold a "Worldwide" data service for many years, it's a single SIM which
    gives you access in multiple countries (although it's one plan, you
    don't have to pay each carrier separately, so it's not directly
    DevilsPGD, Oct 25, 2014
  17. David Howard

    DevilsPGD Guest

    Yup, unless the Apple SIM is cheaper than the AT&T SIM, in which case
    you'd grab two Apple SIMs and call it a day.
    DevilsPGD, Oct 25, 2014
  18. David Howard

    Bert Guest

    In DevilsPGD
    The "Apple SIM" should be free, since by itself it provides no service.

    An AT&T SIM likewise should be free from AT&T when you sign up for
    their service; it's not like it's worth much otherwise.
    Bert, Oct 25, 2014
  19. David Howard

    Erilar Guest

    Free data if you also have a T-Mobile phone, which I don't, so I have to
    pay for it.
    Erilar, Oct 25, 2014
  20. David Howard

    Erilar Guest

    Curiously, the SIM on the iPad Air which is now apparently "1", is none of
    theses anyway ; it's T-Mobile. Do they do the same on the newer one?
    Erilar, Oct 25, 2014
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