Whoaaa — here’s an interesting bit that went unmentioned in today’s Apple announcement: Apple has seemingly built a SIM card that lets you jump between AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile without having to swap it out (or, more annoyingly, track down/purchase a new SIM card when you want to switch carriers). Instead of swapping the card, you just pick a new carrier through the device’s on screen settings. As it should be!
Tucked into a page about the iPad Air 2’s wireless connectivity, Apple calls the new SIM — aptly — “Apple SIM.”
As they describe it:
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.
The Apple SIM doesn’t seem to be something you can buy separately for now (I’d totally buy one for my older iPad Mini), but it comes out of the box in the cell-enabled iPad Air 2.
This one SIM is currently compatible with AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile in the U.S., and EE in the UK. That list will presumably expand in time, as carriers realize that not being one of the available options is probably bad for business.