When iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 started shipping it was found that the new tablets came with an Apple SIM which could be used to switch carriers whenever the customer wanted. However things became a bit complicated when AT&T confirmed that it would be locking the SIM to its network, thus not allowing customers to jump ship any time they wanted to. This has led to a bit of confusion but T-Mobile CEO John Legere has explained things in what he refers to as a “tweetstorm.”
Legere revealed in a series of tweets that the Apple SIM was conceived with the idea of giving customers the freedom to choose which carrier they wanted and the ability to make that choice over time. So purchasing a new iPad directly from an Apple Store gets you the Apple SIM but what do you do next?
Well, according to Legere, Verizon decided to keep itself away from the Apple SIM. AT&T hopped onboard but will lock customers and they won’t be allowed to leave. If customers opt for another carrier they can’t choose AT&T if they change their mind after a while. Both T-Mobile and Sprint embraced the Apple SIM concept as initially envisaged, thus giving customers endless chances to choose the carrier they want.
The situation is a bit different if you purchase a cellular iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 3 from a carrier store. New iPads sold by Verizon and Sprint are kitted with their own SIM whereas those from AT&T and T-Mobile have the Apple SIM preconfigured to that particular carrier.
In order to activate their iPad, purchased from one carrier’s store, on another carrier customers will have to replace the SIM with one from the desired carrier. Legere says the process gets a bit more complicated on Sprint which requires IMEI associated with a device to be in their network registry, which means an iPad sold originally on another carrier will not work on Sprint even if it has a non-configured Apple SIM, unless the customer gets the IMEI entered into the network registry.