iPad Air 2 comes with new Apple SIM card for switching carriers at will

We are still discovering things about the newly revealed Apple iPad Air 2 that the company didn't talk about during their press event today. One of these features is mentioned on Apple's website, where it reveals that the iPad Air 2 comes with its own custom Apple SIM card.

According to the site:

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."

At the moment, the US carriers that support the new Apple SIM include AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile (sorry Verizon Wireless customers), while EE in the UK is the only one mentioned as supporting this feature in that country. What do you think of this rather interesting feature for the iPad Air 2?

Source: Apple{.nofollow}

John Callaham

I have been writing professionally about technology and gaming news for 14 years.

  • This would've been a feature that would've made me trade in my iPad Air immediately. Unfortunately this configuration can only be bought in the UK or US.
  • This feature appears to be based on the patent that Apple filed for dynamic carrier selection in 2011. http://www.google.com/patents/US7885654
  • I think so too. For historical reference of cellular service, the carrier was tied to the radio chipset because of the frequency differences. In short, the chips were not sophisticated enough (at a reasonable price) to be supporting that many bands. This is something that can now be largely done in software due to the power of the newer chips. In theory, this list of carriers could grow with a software update.
  • Nope. Sorry you are wrong. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Actually, you're wrong. lol. If the hardware supports the bands, it absolutely could be added in a software update. Don't just tell someone they are wrong without backing it up.
  • Wonder why Verizon has to be the party pooper (as they always are). Sent from the iMore App
  • Agree with you on this point. I was gonna post it myself but you beet me to it. :) Sent from the iMore App
  • To borrow from CinemaSins (YouTube channel), "Because ... Verizon."
  • Verizon once again proving why they are my least favorite carrier in the US Sent from the iMore App
  • This is very, VERY cool. I just bought an iPad Air LTE model from Target for my HOA's property manager, and specifically bought the AT&T model as the Target tech salesman asserted these are the only variants that don't need "carrier-unlocking" to use on a competing carrier (e.g. use on T-Mobile). I like that Apple has simplified it so you only have to pick from one of several model variations without having to specify which "carrier" the tablet is for. I'm eyeing the iPad Mini+Retina LTE models as my next ultraportable tablet, despite being mostly an Android user.
  • That's actually really cool and innovative! Very impressed. Will it be compatible with iPhones? I feel like maybe not, because I'm not sure even Apple can get away with giving consumers (In the US, anyways, where the carriers rule with much tyranny) the power to just float around and change carriers at will. Also not sure it'd work with mobile numbers, either.
  • Not innovative when you consider Europe has had this for years. As has New Zealand. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Huh, the more you know. It's new to the US, anyways.
  • It isn't innovative. This tech has existed in Europe for years. And New Zealand. And many other places. Do some research mate. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Multi-carrier sim = Apple MVNO? One-stop shopping and billing through iTunes?
  • I love it! A sign of things to come I suppose. Originally didn't Steve Jobs want to create his own MVNO style network using Wifi hotspots? Perhaps this is a longer term plan towards that vision. Also built in SIMs mean the removable tray isn't required which will no doubt allow for more tech in future models. Sent from the iMore App
  • So
  • This has existed in Europe for years. New Zealand and many other places. Silly American. Finally catching up. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • It doesn't help that the American cellular market is so far behind in every other aspect as well. Contracts, subsidies, the fail technology also known as CDMA.. the list goes on. USA is not a good place to be a cell phone geek.