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Apple’s new iPads let you switch LTE networks without changing your SIM card

apple boss describes ipad sales slump as a speed bump air 2 wireless press image
Switching SIM cards every time you travel abroad or switch carriers can be a real hassle. Apple seems to have come up with a solution to this problem with the iPad Air 2. In the section about the device’s wireless connectivity, Apple mentions a SIM card called Apple SIM that can work on several different LTE networks in the U.S. and the U.K., including AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and EE.

Apparently, the Apple SIM is built into the LTE-version of the iPad Air 2, so anyone who buys the tablet will be able to change LTE networks right on their iPad. That means you won’t have to go to T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, or EE to pick up a dedicated SIM card that only works on that specific carrier’s network. You wont have to swap SIM cards every time you take a trip or change carriers either.

Previously, if you wanted to switch LTE networks, you had to go to the store, sign up, get the SIM, take the old SIM out, and replace it with the new one. All that hassle disappears with the Apple SIM, but it will only work with select carriers. The list of carriers that support the feature is very short right now, but other carriers may soon join the fold. T-Mobile’s John Legere was very excited about the new SIM — he posted several tweets about the announcement.

Very little information is currently available on this new feature, but Apple’s website says the following:

“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.”

It’s unclear whether the Apple SIM will be available for purchase or work on older LTE-equipped iPads. Presumably, the new SIM only works on the latest model.

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Malarie Gokey
Former Digital Trends Contributor
As DT's Mobile Editor, Malarie runs the Mobile and Wearables sections, which cover smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and…
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