What is the Apple SIM and What Does It Do?

September 21, 2015 by
iPad Air 2 with Apple SIM

On Sept. 9, Apple made a number of new product announcements (iPhone 6s, iPad Pro and a new Apple TV box), but it didn't hype up its new Apple SIM.

If you're curious about this new technology, Apple has a product page about Apple SIM, as a sub-page of its iPad section.

Apple SIM lets you choose from a number of pay-per-use carrier plans, and switch from one to another.

"With Apple SIM in iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 with Wi-Fi + Cellular models (launched in October 2014), you get the convenience of choosing a cellular data plan from select carrier partners right on your iPad," the company writes. "And when you travel abroad, Apple SIM gives you the added flexibility to stay connected in more than 90 countries and territories around the world."

What this means is Apple in entering the MVNO space (similar to how Google connects its Nexus 6 phones to "Project Fi"). iPads equipped with Apple SIM allow users to choose from a number of partner carrier data plans, with the ability to switch from one to another. Likewise, you're able to easily (and inexpensively) connect to a partner carrier when you're overseas. It's great news for the consumer.

Apple SIM devices are unlocked and contract-free, enabling improved consumer choice and easier international roaming.

It also means Apple SIM devices are unlocked and contract-free. This isn't a big deal to overseas users; people in Europe and Asia are accustomed to buying unlocked devices and connecting them to carriers however they'd like. But this is a new thing in North America.

According to Mobile Syrup (June 30), Canadian Apple SIM users can access GigSky plans but they're "not particularly enticing." An Apple SIM costs $10 at Apple Stores across Canada.

In the U.S., Apple SIM users can choose from plans with AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile (interestingly, Verizon is omitted). In the U.K., EE coverage is available. For users in other parts of Europe, GigSky is available.

Stay tuned for more Apple SIM carrier and plan information in the future.

Posted in: Apple iPhone, Industry News