Apple's New iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular Models Also Come with Pre-Installed "Apple SIM"
Apple has just unveiled Thursday its next generation of Apple iPads, the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3, which many speculate will be hitting the stores by October 24. Although not given much highlight during the launch, one feature of the devices is the so-called "Apple SIM" which will allow users to select a mobile network and pay on-screen. As pointed out by Parmy Olsen of Forbes, "Tucked away near the bottom of one of its web pages, Apple introduces a data-only SIM that gives customers "flexibility to choose from a variety of short term [carrier] plans." Essentially a window pops up, and you can choose from AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile." Apparently, Verizon still hasn't been invited to join on-board.
Apple on its website says: "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." With it, travelers can join a local network abroad rather than pay roaming fees to their carriers back home.
The ability of users to easily switch networks afforded by the Apple SIM could pose as a threat to mobile operators,especially if the technology is also rolled out to the iPhones. Presently, if you buy an iPhone on contract from AT&T, that phone will come with an AT&T SIM card. In case you want to use that same phone on another carrier, say T-Mobile, you will have to buy another SIM card from that carrier and put it in the phone you bought from AT&T. A SIM card is programmed to work with only one specific carrier. Now, as observed by Thomas Gryta at the Wall Street Journal, "The Apple SIM is universal, allowing the new iPads to work on multiple carriers without physically switching out the chip. As such, it removes one barrier to changing carriers."
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