Cellular variants of Apple’s new iPads — the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 — come preinstalled with Apple SIM, a new type of SIM card from Apple that gives you the flexibility to choose from various supported carriers.
At launch Apple supports three carriers in the US, T-Mobile, Sprint and EE in the UK. On receiving their cellular iPads, customers can select a carrier, and a data plan, and start using their iPad. As long as customers don’t choose AT&T, they can freely switch between carriers by going to Settings > Cellular. AT&T is locking Apple SIMs, and once a customer chooses AT&T as their network, they won’t be able to switch to a different network unless they buy a new Apple SIM.
An internal Apple document leaked to 9to5Mac further describes the utility of the Apple SIM for international travellers, travelling between the US and UK. For instance a T-Mobile customer in the US can easily switch to EE in the UK, and vice versa.
The document further says that Verizon isn’t participating in the program, and customers interested in buying a Verizon iPad have to go to the Apple Store or the Verizon Store.
EE is called Apple’s ‘initial participating’ network in the UK, suggesting that more UK carriers will start supporting the Apple SIM soon.
Did you buy the iPad Air or iPad mini with an Apple SIM? Let us know how your experience has been in the comments below.