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Apple is burying its own SIM card for iPads

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In the future, Apple’s in-house SIM can no longer be used to activate new data plans. Users now have to contact a carrier.


Apple has officially discontinued the so-called Apple SIM for the iPad, which has been available since 2014. With the physical SIM card, available in Apple’s physical stores, you could activate a tablet data plan right on your iPad, without having to contact a cellular service provider. Later, the Apple SIM was also available as an embedded variant that was built directly into the iPad. Both variants of this functionality will no longer be supported as of October 1, 2022.

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in one correspondingly updated support document states that “Apple SIM technology is no longer available for activating new data plans on iPad”. “Contact your cell phone provider for details on how to activate a data plan on the iPad,” Apple now states succinctly – customers must therefore take care of a plan themselves.

Luckily, this isn’t that difficult. Like iPhones, current models support the eSIM function, with which you can also get different tariffs online. These include special offers for abroad that can be booked in apps. As is usual with eSIM tariffs, you can also scan a QR code from your mobile phone provider or use their app to activate a tariff.

Apple originally started offering the Apple SIM in the USA in 2014 and offered very interesting tariffs; several years later, the system also started in Germany. Initially, the physical Apple SIM was in the iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3 and 4, iPad 5 and 6 and the first 12.9-inch iPad Pro. An integrated Apple SIM was then used from the second generation of the iPad Pro with 12.9 inches and the iPad Pro variants with 9.7 and 10.5 inches. Since 2018, all iPad models with mobile communications have been able to use the regular eSIM technology, which is now offered by numerous carriers.

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Accordingly, the Apple SIM has increasingly become an anachronism. However, the integrated Apple SIM showed early on the path Apple would like to take: Away from the physical SIM card, which takes up a lot of space in the case. With the iPhone 14, Apple has now started to only use eSIM in the USA – but the physical SIM tray is still available in Europe.


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