Apple’s carrier agnostic SIM in the new iPad Air 2 gets locked if you choose AT&T

Apple’s carrier agnostic SIM in the new iPad Air 2 gets locked if you choose AT&T
The special SIM card that comes with the cellular data enabled Apple iPad Air 2 is a big deal as far as SIM cards go. People that pick up the new tablet have a choice to activate service with either AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile.

If you pick Sprint or T-Mobile, you are can switch service providers with no concern about changing the SIM card like you would have to do with traditional modules.

If you pick AT&T however, once that activation is complete, the SIM card will be permanently locked to AT&T service. Should you decide to switch providers, you will need to get a new SIM card from Apple. Why is this the case? According to AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel, “it’s just the way we’ve chosen to do it.”  We're scratching our heads too.

Despite the SIM card inconvenience, the iPad Air 2 itself remains an unlocked tablet. This circumstance basically side-steps the idea behind the Apple SIM card, but at least the AT&T SIM card lock does not limit a user’s choice. Of course, Verizon customers have to use a Verizon-issued SIM card anyway, so as nifty as Apple’s SIM card is, the AT&T service issue is arguably not unique.

sources: TechCrunch and re/code

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18 Comments

1. g2a5b0e unregistered

“It’s just the way we’ve chosen to do it.” Typical. Move along, folks. No surprises here.

4. Daftama

Posts: 640; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Wow typical article typical ppl responding... Who cares it's a simcard....soon they will make all simcard universal who cares...

5. Daftama

Posts: 640; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

I stand corrected simply ppl do

2. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2348; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

Att is an evil empire.. But offer the best new phones :)

3. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

"It’s just the way we’ve chosen to screw you." AT&T. Doing what we love to do. #screwthecustomer

6. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

Is this Bizarro World? I agree with almost all of you, and my troll reflex isn't even compelling me to be super douchey...like AT&T.

7. Miracles

Posts: 560; Member since: Aug 31, 2013

Why am I not surprised? Typical AT&T...they love to rip you off + screw with you. "Should you decide to switch providers, you will need to get a new SIM card from Apple" Doesn't this earn money for Apple and not AT&T...so why is AT&T doing this? Folks this is why you switch to the Uncarrier. #maketheswitch

9. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

It would just be easier to get a regular ATT SIM if you are going to use them, and then use the Apple SIM when you want to tell them to piss off because "it's the way I have chosen to do it."

10. ManusImperceptus

Posts: 724; Member since: Jun 10, 2014

I'm guessing they're doing it to make it just that little bit harder for customers to decide to switch carrier...

18. Blazers

Posts: 720; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

After 14 yrs with Cingular/AT&T, I'm about to switch both lines to T-Mobile. I'm moving into a new place, and only get HSPA+ there, whereas TMO has a very strong LTE signal. Plus I like that T-Mobile doesn't lock the bootloaders on their phones.

8. Elfmonster unregistered

AT&T - Never Again

11. JnCrls unregistered

"It’s just the way we’ve chosen to F*#K you."

12. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 2009

Looking forward to the days where you can use one SIM on any carrier, and Apple is leading the way. Our company is just getting us new iPad Air 2's on Sprint, luckily they have really good service here with Sprint Spark which the new iPhones and iPads support. Some of our field employees now carry a Sprint Spark iPad Air 2, a Spark hotspot a Blackberry and a Sprint Nextel Direct Connect phone...talk about being connected 24/7.

13. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Don't really know what the fuzz is about anyways. In my country, if I wanted to switch carriers, I don't need a new simcard, they can activate whatever sim is in the device on the new carrier anyway. And if Apple decides to get rid of the sim card all together and switch to a softsim, won't this mean Apple can decide to ban certain carriers?

14. Nobodey

Posts: 76; Member since: Jan 03, 2010

As for the "Evil Empire" comments. I work for AT&T (but use TMO). 1.AT&T costs more, but has better service than most unless you never leave major cities. (Hence why I am on TMO, I never leave major cities) 2. AT&T does not change your plan after the fact, which Verizon and Sprint does. TMO generally does not, but currently has a promotion that does exactly that. (It is the exception though). 3. AT&T has become the safest carrier as well. Creating an account over the phone requires creating a passcode. Only account holders, and not authorized users are allowed to add lines. Most consider this an inconvience, others see this as a way to protect your account even when you are having drama with your authorized users. 4. You know all those activation and upgrade fees you have paying with AT&T? That money has gone towards make ours the largest network, surpassing even Verizon, in covering over 99% of all Americans. Yes, I use TMO, mostly because I am a Google-phile who uses Nexus devices exclusively, but AT&T being "evil"? Hardly.

15. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

For many plans covering millions of people, AT&T charges people a subsidy even when they are not "under contract". That is evil. The obscene profits AT&T makes are evil as well. That money could have gone back into the people's economy, but it goes into the pockets of a relatively small number of AT&T execs and shareholders. AT&T keeps competition out of the telecom market through politics and bribes. Including attacking people and their efforts to put in municipal broadband. This is evil. There are no non-evil mega corporations. They didn't get to be the giants they are without doing evil and they don't stay giants without doing more evil.

16. Nobodey

Posts: 76; Member since: Jan 03, 2010

On the older plans yes, but we encourage people off of those plans. (But don't use force like Verizon does leveraging peoples unlimited plans) As for obscene profits, you can consider that evil, but then you would be calling every corporation whos goal it is to make profit (which are all of them) evil as well. As for politics and bribes, again, all corporations. =) So to call a corporation evil, by you definition, is redundant.

17. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Wait?! People have a problem with AT and T's way when Apple is the one that will be charging you for a new Apple Sim? What?! If you want to talk about evil and greedy corporations, Apple is number 1 and you have to complain about them before any carrier.

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