AT&T took a big chunk out of anyone who was ready to embrace the entire concept behind the Apple SIM. The concept was brilliant. It was that users would essentially be able to make a decision on their device about what type of data they would like to use, instead of being stuck with a particular carrier for the life of the device – as things are presently.
When the new iPad’s came out boasting these SIM cards which were said to be using the Apple SIM people were understandably happy. No more needing to stay with a particular carrier for an extended period of time. No more data contracts. Just a level of use, and a new market that previous didn’t exist.
Well, everyone can forget about that for now.
AT&T confirmed, in addition to T-Mobile, on Friday that if a user wants to switch carriers with an iPad Air 2, or an iPad Mini 3, it will not be as simple as a few taps on the device. The company confirmed that they will preset all SIM cards to their carrier and that if any user wants to switch carriers, they will have to physically remove the SIM card – and replace it with another.
The only caveat is the fact that iPad’s purchased at Apple store, or place like Best Buy – who is technically a third-party retailer for the T-Mobile network will keep the “open” SIM card. Don’t expect that with all third-party purchased devices, though. AT&T iPad’s will be locked down, whether you buy them in Apple’s outlets, or if you purchase them directly through AT&T.
So the Apple SIM in new iPad locks to AT&T if activated once? Classic Death Star move…AT&T can ruin anything good. pic.twitter.com/GXfhI0t0UH
— Michael Whaley (@pilotmike) October 24, 2014
This though could be the first major divide between Apple and carriers, like AT&T. Verizon was never a partner in the Apple SIM program, but the goal was to make choosing a device, and carrier simple, and without endless consequences. However, AT&T as well as T-Mobile have proven that they want to maintain control over the customer, and while Apple may be willing to relinquish some of that – but the carriers seem to be unwilling to relinquish any of it.
A representative of Apple said that users who have a SIM that was locked down by a particular carrier, can buy a new SIM through Apple, at the Apple store to switch plans.