iPad Air 2, the Apple SIM, and Network Speeds

Anyone who knows me knows that I love Apple products, but they also know that I love the wireless industry. With Apple's launch of iPad Air 2, they also launched the Apple SIM. It's my time to shine!

Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards have been in use for years by carriers in the US like AT&T (Cingular), T-Mobile (VoiceStream), and more recently by Verizon and Sprint with the launch of LTE. Overseas SIM cards have been used even longer. Previous to Apple's launch of the Apple SIM, a SIM card was provided by the carrier for each line of service. Your identity to the network/carrier was the SIM card. You could move your SIM from device to device and your service (phone number) followed the SIM. This process won't change for many, but those buying Apple's new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 will be able to take advantage of the new setup.

Apple has taken an AWESOME step and launched dynamic SIM cards. Right now in my iPad Air 2 I have an Apple SIM that has service from both Sprint and T-Mobile active at the same time. I can't be connected to both networks simultaneously, but I can easily switch between each provider with the tap of a menu item. I can also manage my account with each service provider including adding, changing, and canceling service.

There are a few things you should know about the Apple SIM & service: 

  • Only AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint are supported at this time in the US
  • Outside the US support is limited to the UK provider EE
  • Once you setup service on T-Mobile or Sprint, you can't setup AT&T service
  • Setting up AT&T service on the Apple SIM will lock that SIM to use on AT&T's network, and will not allow you to switch to other networks without obtaining a new SIM