Apple today announced the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 with features like Touch ID, a better camera, a faster A8X chip, Apple Pay support and more. One feature that wasn’t mentioned was the “Apple SIM”, a new Apple SIM card that comes pre-installed with all iPad Air 2 Cellular variants.
The Apple SIM lets users choose short-term plans from different carriers, which are very handy when travelling abroad. Apple has partnered with 4 carriers in the US and UK who will support this initially.
From Apple’s website:
The new Apple SIM is preinstalled on iPad mini 3 and 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.
On the iPad purchase page, Apple further explains:
The Wi-Fi + Cellular model comes with an Apple SIM card preinstalled. The Apple SIM lets you choose from a selection of short-term cellular data plans — from carriers like AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile* — that can be turned on for a day, week, or month. If you’re a Verizon customer, you’ll need to visit a Verizon store to get your SIM. You can activate the Apple SIM whenever you want so that you have cellular data service when you need it for the length of time you need it. And if you’re traveling to countries where there are carriers that support the Apple SIM, such as the UK, you may have the option to connect to a local carrier while you’re there. Contact your carrier for more information.
Supported carriers are AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile in the US, and EE in the UK.